How will Apopka spend the funding for its US bailout? Velazquez pushes for the workshop


By Reggie Connell, Editor-in-Chief

Apopka city administrator Edward Bass announced more details about the city’s share of funding for the US bailout at a city council meeting on October 13.

“Hopefully at a meeting in November we can come back with a staff plan,” Bass said. “Some of the things we need to look at are the grant opportunities we’ll have soon… and look at things in our budget and in our five-year plan. I think we need to think about whatever is on the horizon so that we can make sure we are using those dollars wisely.

The commissioner of the city of Apopka, Diane Velazquez

“We still don’t know if we’re having a workshop on this topic? Commissioner Diane Velazquez asked Bass.

“At one of the meetings, I’m hoping to bring you back a map of all the different things we’ve pulled from our budgets and the different ways to spend the money,” Bass said. “Keep in mind that we have received $ 3.5 million and that we will receive the other half 12 months from June… and keep in mind during the budget workshops that you have allocated $ 1 million. dollars for road resurfacing. We will bring it back to you in November.

But Velazquez pushed Bass for a formal workshop rather than staff input.

“So when you say you’ll bring it back to us, does that mean we’ll have a workshop?” Velasquez asked. “Because when you bring it back to us, it’s already kind of decided by the staff. “

“If the Council wants to do this, we can do it,” Bass said. “Maybe have it the same day as a city council meeting.”

“I think it would be better,” Velazquez said.

American rescue plan in Florida: by the numbers

  • $ 8.8 billion for the state of Florida
  • $ 4.2 billion for Florida counties, including $ 271 million for Orange County
  • $ 7 million for Apopka

According to the document, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility to each jurisdiction to meet local needs, including support for households, small businesses, affected industries, essential workers and hardest-hit communities. by the crisis. Within the eligible use categories listed, recipients have a great deal of discretion in deciding how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities.

In addition to allowing flexible spending up to the level of their loss of income, beneficiaries can use the funds to:

  • Support public health spending, by funding – among other uses – COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical spending, behavioral health care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and some public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis;
  • Address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including re-employing public sector workers, providing assistance to households facing food, property or financial insecurity, offering assistance to small businesses and expanding support to industries hardest hit by the crisis
  • Help the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, support an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate damage of the pandemic, but also its exacerbation of long-standing disparities in public health, economics and education
  • Offer a wage bonus to essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks as a result of their service during the pandemic; and,
  • Investing in water, sewers and broadband infrastructure, improving access to drinking water, supporting vital infrastructure for wastewater and stormwater, and expanding access to high-speed internet.

For more details go here.

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