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Leon County prepares for more COVID-19 relief funds

Leon County expects $57 million from American Rescue Plan funds
Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 18:29:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Now that President Joe Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law, Leon County Deputy County Administrator Alan Rosenzweig says they're preparing to distribute its portion of the money.

"We're still analyzing the bill to determine what the money can and can't be used for," he said.

Leon County will receive $57 million from this latest relief package. While how it will be used is yet to be determined, the county is expecting it to be similar to how the CARES dollars rolled out into the community. Leon CARES gave money to businesses, non-profits, and people struggling due to the pandemic. It also put support behind initiatives exacerbated by the pandemic, like food insecurity. Between federal money and state money, Leon County received about $62 million dollars in 2020.

"Building on that success, we're eagerly anticipating the new money. We anticipate developing similar programs over this time. Working with community partners again," he said.

Staff will bring policy recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners in late April. Local governments across the country have 60 days to review the bill that's roughly 700 pages long. The county hopes to be prepared to send money out by May.

There is more relief coming to the capital county before May. On March 29th, $9 million with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program will open up in Leon County from the state.

"That's for low income individuals in the community. That'll pay for past due rent as well as future rent and utility bills," said Rosenzweig.

In order to qualify you must meet the income requirement, you have to provide a copy of your lease or bill that needs to be paid, along with showing that you loss income due to COVID-19.

The application process will open online, but the county will also set up at the Main Public Library as well as the County Office in Railroad Square to help people apply.