Two more Lebanon County municipalities have received money from the state Treasury Department as part of the American Rescue Plan Act’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery program.
This is their first batch of funds; the other half will be disbursed in about a year.
The two townships were among 134 municipalities receiving $19.8 million total in coronavirus recovery payments this week. To date, 1,885 municipalities across Pennsylvania have gotten a combined $441 million, starting last month.
Funds 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.
Tom Houtz, chairman of the Jackson Township supervisors, told LebTown that there has been no decision on how the money will be used.
But two possible priorities are stabilizing the MS4 stormwater system to prevent nitrate runoff and paying down the township’s sewer debt, he said.
More than 2,500 municipalities in the commonwealth qualify for these payments, the state Treasury Department said.
The American Rescue Plan Act gave states the responsibility to allocate these federal funds to municipalities with a population of less than 50,000. Eligible Pennsylvania municipalities must request funds through the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Seventeen Lebanon County municipalities previously received payment from the state: Cleona, Cornwall, Myerstown and Palmyra boroughs, and Bethel, East Hanover, Heidelberg, Millcreek, North Annville, North Cornwall, North Lebanon, North Londonderry, South Annville, South Lebanon, South Londonderry, Swatara and West Lebanon townships.
Larger municipalities apply to receive payments directly from the federal government.
The state treasury will continue to pay municipalities on a rolling basis as they complete the necessary steps.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Do you support local news?
If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.
Learn more about membership and join now here.
This article was updated on Monday, July 26, with additional comment from Jackson Township supervisors.