Health, Economic Recovery are Priorities for ARP Funds
Published on August 12, 2021
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners today released a joint plan to invest over $100 million dollars in American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funding. The plan supports efforts to restore economic vitality and to renew commitments to community growth and well-being. Details are available at lincoln.ne.gov/ARP.
“This joint plan reflects our shared values of equity and opportunity as we work together to achieve the goals of economic growth and shared recovery for our community,” said Gaylor Baird. “Our local businesses and workforce continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, and these strategic investments will provide them with critical support. This plan takes action for those most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit our community hard. This plan is a historic opportunity to support those most impacted by the pandemic through support to our local nonprofits that serve families, children, and individuals seeking health care and job training,” said City Council Vice Chair Tammy Ward. “I’m proud of our joint efforts to help Lincoln and Lancaster County residents thrive.”
County Board Member Sean Flowerday said, “As a member of the Lincoln Lancaster County Board of Health throughout the pandemic, I know how vital these additional resources will be to prepare for future vaccination efforts and provide health services. These efforts will help our community address health disparities now and in the future.”
The plan, supported by members of the City Council, nonprofit professionals, and business leaders, incorporates existing city and county planning reports and commissions, as well as surveys completed by the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force. It includes the following priorities:
- Deploy business mortgage and rental assistance to stabilize and grow businesses most impacted by the pandemic.
- Develop job training programs that have a clear connection to workforce demand and serve individuals most impacted by the pandemic, including low-wage workers and youth.
- Ensure that city services that lost revenue due to the pandemic can provide stable services into the future.
- Expand access to broadband service throughout the county so businesses and communities thrive and grow.
- Improve the resilience, capacity, and flexibility of rural water service.
- Invest in public health programs including contingency funds for future vaccination efforts, work to reduce child exposure to lead paint, and to address health disparities.
- Support initiatives under development prior to the pandemic, such as Lincoln’s music district and sports facilities.
- Invest in nonprofit organizations serving individuals in need of health and economic recovery services, like mental health care, childcare, and violence prevention services.
The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, allocated directly to the City and the County through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Individual programs will roll out on an ongoing basis.