Doña Ana County

FEDERAL FUNDS HELP COUNTY AND RESIDENTS

FEDERAL FUNDS HELP COUNTY AND RESIDENTS

In the spring, the county was notified it would receive a direct allocation of $42,381,821 under State and Local Coronavirus Recovery Funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. 

Funding received will accelerate ongoing efforts to recover from the pandemic, including public health and economic impact, based on action taken by the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners, Tuesday. 

The funds are distributed in two separate installments.  The county already received more than $21 million in May and the remainder will be received in 2022.  The intent of the funds is to help local governments stabilize their operating budgets after having unexpected, pandemic-related costs; and strategically use the funds for the betterment of communities, while adhering to the U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved the Doña Ana County State and Local Coronavirus Plan, which identified how more than $32 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds will be spent, over the next three years. Over $10 million remains available for the county to fund additional priorities or increase the allocation for approved projects in the plan.

“Moving forward, the Board will review the progress of the approved plan and identify additional priorities,” Doña Ana County Board Chair Manuel Sanchez noted. “We look forward to sharing this information with the residents so that they can see the progress and continue to have an open dialogue with their respective commissioner.”

“The intent of the plan was to ensure that the county reviewed ongoing needs that our community had identified and then prioritized those needs for funding,” stated County Manager Fernando R. Macias. “That is why broadband, flood mitigation, and behavioral health were prioritized.”

Among the county’s plan includes the following priorities:

  • Respond to economic harms faced by small businesses by providing financial support through a fund to be determined.
  • Address the medical bill burdens of county residents due to COVID-19, through a direct medical relief fund, to be established.
  • Invest in flood mitigation for lower-income communities.
  • Support countywide broadband accessibility.
  • Additional funding to equip first responders with needed equipment.
  • Improve ventilation in county buildings that house public health entities.
  • Design and select a site for a new emergency management building.
  • Construct an all-hazard shelter at the county fairgrounds, aiming at low congregate sheltering, to decrease concerns with disease transmission and functional needs of individuals.
  • Conduct an emergency communications assessment.
  • Address behavioral health and mental health disparity exacerbated by the pandemic through a recovery center assessment, mobile triage crisis unit and behavioral health services.
  • Support affordable housing development to meet the needs of the most vulnerable residents.

The county will provide updates to the public when the direct assistance funds are established.

This county plan is part of a larger fund development strategy to secure and leverage monies from local, state, and federal sources to fulfill the county’s mission to enhance the health, safety, and quality of life for all residents. Since the announcement of the allocated funding under the American Rescue Plan Act, county management staff and commissioners completed an internal needs assessment, conducted community outreach, and coordinated with other jurisdictions in the development of plan recommendations.

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