Seventeen municipalities in Lebanon County are among 1,752 in Pennsylvania to receive federal American Rescue Plan Act money so far through the state’s Treasury Department.

Managers with some of the local townships and boroughs said sewer, stormwater and wastewater improvements would be priorities. Funds received ranged from less than $44,000 to nearly $638,000.

The $421 million-plus disbursed June 29, July 7 and July 14 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund payments around Pennsylvania was part of the first batch of money; a second batch will be allocated about a year later.

Payments can be used to address COVID-19’s negative economic impacts, replace lost public sector revenue, support public health, help essential workers, and invest in infrastructure improvements, including water, sewer or broadband services, the state treasury said.

Receiving money were:

  • Bethel Township, $277,216, paid July 7.
  • Cleona Borough, $116,130, paid June 29.
  • Cornwall Borough, $229,016, paid July 7.
  • East Hanover Township, $155,486, paid July 14.
  • Heidelberg Township, $227,185, paid July 14.
  • Millcreek Township, $219,177, paid July 7.
  • Myerstown Borough, $170,140, paid June 29.
  • North Annville Township, $131,988, paid July 7.
  • North Cornwall Township, $415,013, paid July 14.
  • North Lebanon Township, $637,750, paid June 29.
  • North Londonderry Township, $449,973, paid June 29.
  • Palmyra Borough, $397,063, paid June 29.
  • South Annville Township, $158,626, paid July 14.
  • South Lebanon Township, $525,185, paid July 14.
  • South Londonderry Township, $445,682, paid July 14.
  • Swatara Township, $252,619, paid July 7.
  • West Lebanon Township, $43,699, paid July 7.

Palmyra Borough manager Roger Powl told LebTown the borough isn’t 100% sure where the money will go. But possibilities include a new stormwater installation and a new sanitary sewer pump station, he said, with the old pump station being demolished.

Michael Booth, manager of North Londonderry Township, said, “We’ve identified some sewer infrastructure” needs for the first half of the American Rescue Plan money, such as wastewater and collection system upgrades.

The township is currently gathering cost estimates, he told LebTown. The wastewater system requires capital improvements, and older collection system sections need to be revitalized, Booth explained.

Next year, after seeing what money is left over, the township could consider broadband investment, he said.

“We will spend the money,” Booth said.

Under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, $6.15 billion was set aside for Pennsylvania counties, cities, boroughs and townships, the state Treasury Department said. Nationwide, $350 billion was earmarked for the program.

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is responsible for releasing the funds to municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents after they request the money through the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Pennsylvania has more than 2,500 municipalities that qualify.

The state treasury will continue to pay municipalities on a rolling basis as they complete the application process.

Lebanon city ($16,672,455) and Lebanon County ($27,541,628) received their Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the federal government. Even though Lebanon’s population is less than 50,000, it is considered a metropolitan city by the U.S. Treasury.

Lebanon County administrator Jamie Wolgemuth told LebTown via email that the county hasn’t decided where the money will go.

“The Board (of Commissioners) has informally discussed some potential uses, from broadband in remote rural areas that have not been served by commercial providers as well as some workforce development initiatives that they will be exploring,” Wolgemuth said.

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Paula Wolf worked for 31 years as a general assignment reporter, sports columnist, and editorial writer for LNP Media. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, she is a lifetime resident of Lancaster County.