Small communities to receive COVID-19 relief assistance

By Megan Wehring

Populations under 50,000 will receive additional federal coronavirus relief assistance payments from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) beginning this week.

Under ARPA, the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF) provides emergency funding for eligible localities classified as non-entitlement units of local government to support their response efforts, including medical supplies and hospital staffing. These include cities, villages, towns and townships serving populations of less than 50,000 and will receive funding distributed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM).

“The success and continued growth of Texas starts on Main Street in our local communities,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “I strongly encourage the remaining local officials of NEUs across the state to apply for this additional funding through TDEM so that the millions of Texans living in smaller communities are not forgotten as they continue their COVID recovery efforts.”

Last month, the State of Texas began the process of contacting and collecting the required information from the nearly 1,200 local governments before certifying and applying to receive the federal funds into the state treasury. Per federal law, states are required to distribute funding to all eligible NEUs (non-entitlement units of government) within 30 days of receiving the funds into the state treasury. Local governments can contact TDEM to begin this application process.

“The Texas economy is the 9th largest in the world and much of our strength comes from our small towns and rural communities,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “It is vital that our local governments take advantage of the funds that Congress has appropriated so our state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic even stronger than before.”

For more information or to apply for CLFRF, please visit https://tdem.texas.gov/clfrf/

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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