Local governments will get stimulus money under COVID relief package

WWNY Local governments will get stimulus money under COVID relief package

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s just not people who are waiting for a stimulus check to arrive. Counties, cities, villages and towns are all about to get a shot of stimulus money aimed at helping governments hit by the pandemic.

When President Joe Biden signs the COVID relief bill into law, there will be a lot of checks to cut.

Local governments will get a share of the $1.9 trillion package.

The city of Watertown is expecting a big chunk.

“$22.95 million, almost $23 million,” said Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith.

But there will be restrictions on how the money is used. City Manager Ken Mix says there’s little guidance so far.

“We can use it for taking care of lost revenue from COVID. The other big thing is that it can be used for water, sewer, and broadband,” he said.

Mix adds it can also be used to help households and businesses hurt by the pandemic.

“From our understanding, the U.S. Treasury will be putting out the rules and regulations hopefully soon,” he said.

Smaller municipalities aren’t overlooked in the bill. The town of Massena will receive $1.3 million.

“We’ve cut from our budgets last year. And now, hopefully, we’ll be able to put that money back,” said Steve O’Shaughnessy, Massena town supervisor.

The city of Ogdensburg’s total breaks the $1 million mark too.

“My first surprise really is that the federal government was successful in passing legislation that is sending money directly to county and city and town level governments,” said Ogdensburg City Manager Stephen Jellie.

“The town of Lowville will get more than half a million dollars. Town Supervisor Randy Schell says the town is happy to get the money, but hopes there are few restrictions on how it’s spent.

The COVID relief package is headed back to the House for final approval Wednesday.

Biden is expected to sign it shortly thereafter.

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