North Huntingdon should receive roughly $ 3 million from the latest $ 1.9 trillion bill passed by Congress last month. However, details of how the community can spend the money have yet to be set out.
“There are many bullet points” that say what the US bailout money can be spent on, but “no details,” said Jeff Silka, community administrator, to commissioners at a meeting on Thursday evening.
Silka recommended waiting to make a decision on how to spend the funds. The community has until 2024 to spend the money.
Local officials were briefed on the relief package Thursday in a meeting with county officials and a representative from the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Scranton, Silka said.
According to Silka, the rules for issuing the money must be established by the US Treasury Department within 60 days of President Biden’s signature of the bill on March 11th. The federal government then has an additional 30 days to approve the allocation to the states. Pennsylvania has an additional 30 days to distribute the money.
The municipalities will receive half of their funding in 2021 and the rest in the next year, said Silka.
The municipality has to provide some money to cover the difference between the 2019 income and the lesser amount from taxes in 2020, said Silka.
“This is not a stimulus check for municipalities,” he said.
Some money could be used to upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning in the townhouse, Silka said. Air filters and air disinfectants could be installed in the building where the administrative offices and the police station are located.
Employees could be eligible for rewards for what is considered a “hazard pay” for work during the pandemic, up to $ 15,000, Silka said.
The money could also be used to help businesses affected by the covid-related restrictions, Silka said.