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American Rescue Plan Act

September 28, 2021 - 9:34am

While water and sewer improvements certainly aren’t as intriguing as the construction of a playground designed for children of all levels of ability, they are vital to a municipality's health and well-being.

With that in mind, five of the seven projects that would utilize $1.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding -- as recommended by City of Batavia Manager Rachael Tabelski -- have to do with upgrades of water and wastewater systems or purchases of related equipment.

Tabelski, in a presentation at Monday night's City Council Conference Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room, provided details of the water/wastewater proposals.

She was supported by Stephen Waldvogel, P.E., technical director with GHD Group of Buffalo, the company in line to contract with the city for water system planning assistance, and wastewater system headworks and capacity analysis.

The one “public facing project,” Tabelski said, is spending $800,000 – equally split between ARPA money and anticipated grant funding – on upgrading Austin Park (which is located behind the current City Police Department) to an "inclusive destination playground."

Tabelski said that residents have told her they don’t feel safe in that park, compared to other city parks.

“But if we have a really nice playground and really nice space, hopefully, we’d have really great families visiting there so everyone could feel safe at that park,” she said, adding that the project would include enhancement of the water splash pad there.

“I think this is a good opportunity,” she said. “Most of these other projects are water and sewer line utilities. This would be something, obviously, the public could see and enjoy, not that they don’t enjoy clean water – you just don’t see it every day. It just comes to your house, right?”

CITY GETS $1.4 MILLION IN ARPA FUNDING

As reported first on The Batavian on Saturday, Tabelski put together the list of priority expenditures that qualify under ARPA’s rules and regulations. The city received $1,474,764.79 from the federal stimulus action (and, as reported last night, already has half of that in its bank account). The remainder is scheduled to be allocated after the first of the year.

Tabelski made a convincing case for engineering studies, analysis and upgrades of the city’s aging wastewater treatment plant and assistance as it moves toward the phasing out of its water plant.

Two of the projects on the list call for contracting with GHD Group – one for engineering services for water system planning ($248,000 in ARPA money) and the other for wastewater treatment plant headworks and capacity analysis ($250,000 in ARPA money).

“(The engineering services contract) is something the city needs to start immediately, whether we decided to use ARPA funding or not,” Tabelski said of an anticipated two- to two and a half-year contract with GHD.

The gist of that project is to address and replace lead services lines throughout the city according to new federal regulations, she said, mentioning the additional requirement of an online map to show residents the location of lead lines or suspected lead lines.

Tabelski also said that engineering expertise is needed as the city prepares to close its water plant in conjunction with Genesee County’s plan to provide Monroe County Water Authority water to city residents.

After outlining the scope of services of the water system planning resolution, Tabelski turned it over to Waldvogel, who said he has worked with the city “in the background” for the past 10 or 15 years.

ENGINEER: GENERATIONAL CHANGES IN STORE

“The revised lead and copper rule is probably one of the most substantial changes to the water regulations in a generation,” he said. “It will have a substantial impact on your water department and that’s one of the reasons why Rachel is looking to tackle some of these big things.”

As far as the wastewater treatment plant headworks and capacity analysis is concerned, Tabelski said the city just completed a $1 million project to replace the main air system that goes along the ponds.

She said analysis is needed of the pipes that go into the ponds to bubble and diffuse air to allow the ponds to digest waste efficiently and to “understand what our capacity is today so we’re able to make future decisions.”

Waldvogel added that the air system at the wastewater treatment plant is aging and deteriorated.

“There needs to be, as requested by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation), a headworks analysis of the facility,” he said. “And what that is, is essentially an analysis to determine the flow and contaminant loading that the plant can properly manage while you still meet your permit.”

He said the plan is to collect data for 12 months – determining the different “loadings” for all four seasons – “and from that you’ll determine how the facility removes a long list of contaminants, and from that you develop your own local permits which you issue to all the local industries that discharge to your system.”

Waldvogel said this will have an effect on the Town of Batavia, which is a minority owner and also discharges to the plant, and positions the city for long-term growth and future investment.

He also indicated that by understanding its capacity, the city would have to renew its wholesale sewer and meter reading agreements with the Town of Batavia “which are predicated on certain flows and certain loadings.”

Three other projects relating to water and sewer are replacement of the Cohocton water transmission line that supplies water to the southwest quadrant of the city ($400,000 in ARPA funds and $400,000 in Water Reserve funds), replacement of an aging sewer camera ($50,000 in ARPA funds and $50,000 in Wastewater Reserve Funds), and replacement of meter reading equipment ($26,764.70 in ARPA funds and $1,718.79 from Water Reserve funds).

AUSTIN PARK: AN OPPORTUNITY ZONE

Tabelski said Austin Park is about 25 years old and that area qualifies as an Opportunity Zone due to 2019 figures that show 12.9 percent poverty and 4.9 percent unemployment.

“This fits into addressing negative economic impacts and public health in a neighborhood,” she said. “We want to continue to provide those outdoor, healthy living, recreation opportunities, but also doing something a little more significant.

“We don’t have anything that is like, ‘Wow, that is a cool playground.”

She called it an inclusive destination playground, one designed for children of all different abilities and for those in wheelchairs, for example.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. sought to clarify the meaning of “inclusive” – requesting the term “universal access” be included going forward.

He said that Council passed a resolution several years ago that authorizes the board “to think in that realm whenever we designed anything new.”

The other project (using $100,000 in ARPA funds and $440,000 from the Facility Reserve Fund) would make necessary improvements at the city’s Bureau of Maintenance and Fire Department -- the purchase of a new generator to fully run fire headquarters on Evans Street and to make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

City Council voted to forward all of the recommendations to the Oct. 12 meeting.

DIVIDE NY, OTHER RESOLUTIONS

On another front, Council, at the request of Sixth Ward Council member Rose Mary Christian, briefly discussed a bill in the New York State Assembly that provides for a referendum on the question “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?”

Christian was looking for Council’s support of this bill, and seeking guidance on the best way to proceed. City Attorney George Van Nest said that it was a state referendum, not a local one, and, if passed, would be placed on a ballot for statewide voting.

The bill calls for a general election -- posing that question to state voters -- to be held on or before Dec. 31, 2022. The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Stephen Hawley. The Senate version is S7314. Currently, there are no votes for this bill scheduled in state legislative session.

In other action, Council forwarded to the Oct. 12 Business Meeting resolutions:

  • Spending $38,800 from the Facility Ice Rink Reserves account for purchase and installation of a new compressor that is part of the ice making equipment at the Batavia Ice Rink on Evans Street. Tabelski said one of the two compressors has failed and to rebuild it would not be cost effective.
  • Spending $84,000 from the Water Reserves account as a local match to the $334,000 the city received in a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission to fully fund the installation of 950 linear feet of 8-inch water main along Bank Street – from Washington Avenue to Main Street. The project will replace 90-plus-year-old pipe, thus increasing water supply and flow in that area, which is designated as the site of the new police headquarters.

Previously: City manager suggests using ARPA funds to build 'inclusive destination playground' at Austin Park

September 25, 2021 - 1:35pm

austin_park_resized_1.jpgLabeling them ARPA-1 through ARPA-7, City of Batavia Manager Rachel Tabelski has put together a list of priority spending items – including an “inclusive destination playground" at Austin Park – to be funded in whole or in part by the $1.4 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In a memo dated Sept. 20 to City Council, Tabelski wrote that she is recommending these expenditures as part of her Batavia Investment 2021 report, which is on the agenda for discussion at Monday night’s Conference Meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 o’clock at City Hall Council Board Room.

Should City Council forward any proposed resolutions on Monday, voting would take place at the board’s next Business Meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

The federal government, acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on municipal economies, allocated $19.53 billion from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to support non-entitlement units of localities with populations under 50,000, Tabelski wrote.

With that, the city received $1,474,764.79 from the ARPA (getting half this year and half next year).

The money can be used for public health costs, lost public sector revenue, essential worker pay and investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, but comes with restrictions.

Those restrictions, as outlined in Tabelski’s report, include the inability to use the money to lower the tax rate, to offset retirement/pension funds, to pay off current debt, for sidewalks and roads (unless documented proof of being related to COVID-19) and to support current operations in the majority of cases.

Tabelski’s report indicates the recommended projects were derived through multiple means:

  • Conversations with department heads and staff, and citizen input;
  • Review of capital plans, current needs and current reserve accounts;
  • Analyzing the ARPA regulations to create projects that will be most beneficial to the city and/or to advance future ventures, with consideration of social and economic factors;
  • Allocating ARPA money to projects that could receive alternate funding, such as matching funds from other sources to increase the total investment;
  • Ability of city staff to complete, monitor and report on the projects.

Brief descriptions of the seven projects recommended by Tabelski are as follows:

ARPA-1: Engineering Services for Water System Planning

A resolution to contract with GHD Group of Buffalo to “map, inventory and plan to address lead service lines in the city related to the new Lead and Copper Rule” and “to prepare for the closure of the city water treatment plant in connection to Genesee County’s Phase 3 Water Project that would bring Monroe County Water Authority water to the city.

Cost: $248,000, using all ARPA funds.

ARPA-2: Cohocton Water Transmission Line

Replacement of 3,700 linear feet of a 12-inch water transmission line that supplies water to the southwest quadrant of the city – with the connection being made to the existing 12-inch main near the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and Treadeasy Avenue, and continuing to the existing 12-inch main near Walnut Street. The main has incurred 11 breaks in the past 30 years.

Cost: $800,000, equally split between ARPA and reserve funds.

ARPA-3: Inclusive Destination Playground at Austin Park

Located in the city’s Opportunity Zone, Tabelski writes that now is the opportunity to upgrade Austin Park (see photo above), believing that the expenditure will benefit local families, attract visitors from outside the city, assist in public safety in the park and surrounding areas through appropriate environmental design.

Recreation websites describe inclusive playgrounds as activity areas that remove barriers to exclusion, both physical and social, providing a “sensory rich” experience for all. They are designed to be a safe place where children of all abilities can play together, and are developmentally appropriate for children with and without disabilities.

Cost: $800,000, using $400,000 in ARPA funds and seeking grants to double the investment.

ARPA-4: Modify Facility Capital Plan Project

“Critical” improvements are necessary at the city’s Bureau of Maintenance and Fire Department, Tabelski writes, recommending the purchase of a new generator to run fire headquarters on Evans Street and spending to make access into the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cost: $540,000, using $100,000 in ARPA funds, with the remainder committed to the project in the Facility Reserve Fund.

ARPA-5: Wastewater Treatment Plant Headworks Analysis

Tabelski is seeking another contract with GHD Group (via a resolution) for engineering services to solve problems being caused by an aging aeration and blower system. The last headworks study took place in 1983, and since them the WWTP’s aeration system had deteriorated due to leaks in the main header. “While this problem has been remediated, it highlighted the need to complete a more thorough analysis …,” she wrote.

Cost: $250,000, using all ARPA funds.

ARPA-6: Replace Aging Sewer Camera

Scheduled to be replaced next year, the city’s sewer main line camera – purchased in 2012 -- is at the end of its useful life and has malfunctioned on several occasions, resulting in repair costs. Tabelski recommends buying an Envirosight Rover X camera from Joe Johnson Equipment of Rochester, which can be bought at a discount through a cooperative purchase program.

Cost: $100,000, equally split between ARPA funds and wastewater reserve funds.

ARPA-7: Replace Aging Water Meter Readers

As in the case of the sewer camera, the city’s meter reading equipment is about 10 years old and need of replacement. The recommendation is a resolution to purchase new handheld and data recorders from Ti-Sales, Inc., of Sudbury, Mass., along with utilizing a cloud-based data storage system.

Cost: $26,765, using $26,764.70 of ARPA funds and $1,718.79 from water reserves.

August 25, 2021 - 8:52pm

This afternoon’s approval of a new sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia – a move that clears the way for the annual distribution of $10 million in sales tax revenue to Genesee County towns and villages – was a significant moment in the eyes of County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein.

So significant, in fact, that she marked the occasion with a resounding swing of her gavel on its wooden block.

“I’m excited (by this),” she said after legislators unanimously passed the “Modified Amended and Restated Sales Tax Allocation Agreement Between the County of Genesee and the City of Batavia.”

Stein, no doubt, also was relieved that lawmakers passed this and a subsequent, connected resolution ratifying the Town of Darien’s willingness to enter into an “Amended and Restated Water Supply Agreement” with the county.

On the first resolution, the sales tax allocation agreement between the city and county doesn’t change, but it does add wording statilng that the city has no objections to the county’s plan to distribute $10 million in sales tax money collected on a yearly basis to the towns and villages for the next 38 years.

The second resolution was made possible when the Darien Town Board, on Wednesday night, voted to sign a new water supply agreement with Genesee County. Darien was the last municipality to opt in and, by doing so, enables the county to share the full $10 million in sales tax and not a combination of sales tax and other revenue.

The new water supply contract – it’s the same for all municipalities – gives the county the right to raise the surcharge on water usage beyond the 60-cents per 1,000 gallons level, but also requires the county to petition the Monroe County Water Authority in seven years to enact an equalized water rate throughout the county.

“Sharing the $10 million was the goal of this legislature,” Stein said, as she congratulated her colleagues on achieving that goal.

In other action, the legislature voted in favor of contracting with EFPR Group, CPAs, PLLC, of Williamsville, a consulting firm, for assistance in how to spend money received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The contract is for up to $10,000 for the two years of the contract, which includes the option of three, one-year renewals. The cost will be paid from ARPA funds.

County Manager Matt Landers told legislators that the ARPA grant can be used to fund water and broadband projects, but there are “a lot of nuances” to the guidelines. He said EFRP has “extensive experience” in this area and is familiar with the process.

Landers also said he doesn’t think it will cost $10,000 in the first year, but probably closer to $5,000.

Previously: Darien opts in to water agreement after receiving assurances that county will pursue equalized rate

May 29, 2021 - 12:39pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, American Rescue Plan Act, CARES Act, genesee county.

More than $11 million from the American Rescue Plan Act has Genesee County’s name on it, but it’s too early to speculate exactly how that money will be used, County Manager Matt Landers reported to legislators earlier this week.

Landers, in outlining the four areas on which the money can be spent, said he emphasized to county lawmakers that the current federal guidelines have been released on an interim basis and the final rule is not expected until mid-July.

“Between not having the final rule yet, plus the fact that the feds are doing this in a two-traunch allocation of the money, no official roadmap of how were going to spend the $11,125,969 has been drawn up,” Landers said.

“They’re doing this specifically because they don’t want you to spend all of the money now. They want you to evaluate how the pandemic is progressing and to be able to adjust later on with the funding they give you.”

Payments, in equal installments, to municipalities will be made sometime this year and again 12 months later.

According to a directive from the federal government, eligible uses are as follows:

  • To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality.

Landers said his office is calculating what won’t be covered by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act (of 2020) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with outstanding expenses to be covered with ARPA funds.

“We’re still investigating what we can and can't do here regarding tourism,” he said. “I am checking to see if this is the way we can assist the Chamber of Commerce for a rebranding effort, along with assistance to some of our local businesses most impacted by the pandemic and to assist our tourism sector.”

  • To respond to workers performing essential work during COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers.
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency.

Landers reported that the county treasurer’s office has calculated the amount of lost revenue by Genesee County, using the prescribed three formulas.

“The most beneficial calculation of lost revenue is approximately $6 million,” he said. “There are strings attached to this money, but early thoughts on how to utilize this portion is on the construction of the Genesee County Jail.”

He also said he is talking to department heads about possible investments and for cybersecurity upgrades proposed by the Information Technology department.

  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.                                                                                                    

Landers said it there could be around $5 million available for allocating to broadband and water infrastructure needs.

“Limitations on upload/download speed may impact the effectiveness of the broadband allocation,” he advised.

The county manager said he will be meeting with other county administrators on June 4 in Madison County and with New York State Association of County leaders “to put our heads together to see what works.”

“The interim final guidance provides us with a lot of information, but also a lot of questions,” he said. “It is too early to provide a complete list of recommendations, but it is safe to say we will be able to allocate all of the $11 million and will allocate it in the most impactful and transparent way.”

May 13, 2021 - 11:49am

The managers of Genesee County’s three largest municipalities are exploring the best ways to spend a windfall of federal dollars via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11. It is intended to help the United States recover from the adverse economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession.

While the exact amounts to be allocated to towns and villages have yet to be determined, it has been reported that Genesee County will receive slightly more than $11 million, the City of Batavia will receive between $1.57 and $2.5 million, and the Town of Batavia will receive about $750,000.

Formal guidance on how the money may be used was released earlier this week in the form of a 151-page document.

According to published reports, half of the money is available now and the other half will come 12 months from now. Among the qualifying uses are public health, assistance to businesses and families, replenishment of public sector revenue and enhanced compensation for essential employees.

Funds also can be utilized for water and sewer system infrastructure and increasing access to broadband internet – items that local governmental leaders seem to be focusing upon.

GENESEE COUNTY

“We will be having a discussion with the legislature later on this month at a meeting to give some rough suggestions,” Genesee County Manager Matt Landers said. “I haven’t come up with dollar amounts for each bucket but I already have been looking at areas to put this money towards – water infrastructure, broadband infrastructure, jail infrastructure and some possible economic development initiatives as well.”

Landers called it a “one-time allocation of revenues,” emphasizing that the money can’t be used to reduce property taxes.

He said the county needs to upgrade the infrastructure in both the Phase 2 and Phase 3 Water Project, and is looking at ways to assist towns with a countywide broadband solution.

“We still have a lot of pockets within our county that don’t have access to high speed internet,” he said. “Possibly, we can utilize some of this money to help fill those gaps.”

CITY OF BATAVIA

In Batavia, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said she will be presenting a plan to City Council to allocate the CARES funds to specific projects that could include water, sewer, downtown parking rehabilitation and equipment purchases.

She, too, said these are one-time revenues and, as such, will be recommending “that they should be used for one-time purchases, not continuing operations.”

Tabelski noted that the city just ended its 2020-21 fiscal year (on March 31) and is starting an audit next week.

“So, unlike the county and town, with fiscal years that run from January through December, we need to finish the audit to evaluate the 2020-21 fiscal year final revenue,” she said.

TOWN OF BATAVIA

At the Town of Batavia, Supervisor Gregory Post said the money will offset lost revenue, enabling the town board "to allocate the balance to specific needs, which we are identifying right now to see what qualifies.”

Post indicated that expanding broadband and high-speed internet is at the top of the list.

He also said the money can help the town recover from the lack of upgrades to its comprehensive, solar, land use and agricultural protection plans.

“Furthermore, we would like to develop the scale and scope of how we can maintain all of the services to the community through a virtual town hall, and not having to expend any tax dollars in brick and mortar facilities that are not able to be used in the event of another pandemic or other similar circumstance,” he offered.

Post acknowledged the recent increase in property assessments, pledging to find ways “to best serve the community and keep taxes flat or attenuate any of the expenses incurred during COVID.”

On a national level, it has been reported that some states with Republican governors or legislative majorities have filed lawsuits in an effort to strike down the provision that the funds can’t be used for tax relief – on grounds that the stipulation violates the rights of individual states.

March 31, 2021 - 1:33pm

Press release:

Standing at the Bug Jar in Downtown Rochester, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that "help is on the way" to the Finger Lakes region as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan Act he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate.

Using the Bug Jar as a backdrop, Schumer explained that even more for New York’s live independent venues which are eligible for their own, DIRECT, federal pandemic relief, thanks to a provision he championed.

Save Our Stages

The Save Our Stages provision included an additional $1.25 billion for independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions and included a critical fix that allows venues to access a PPP loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the PPP loan amount from the grant amount. Schumer said the additional funding and technical fix would be a lifeline for New York’s independent venues, hard-hit by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, a venue had to choose between getting a PPP loan or a Save Our Stages grant.

Just last week, SBA announced that the Save Our Stages program will open to applications on April 8th after Schumer’s continued press to implement the program. SBA also released an updated PPP application that now allows venues to apply for a PPP loan as well as a Save Our Stages grant, as Schumer intended with the fix included in the recent COVID-19 bill.

“Independent venues, like theaters, concert halls, and cinemas, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the Upstate economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to fully reopen, costing jobs and leaving a giant hole in the fabric of our communities,” Senator Schumer said.

“That is why I made sure this relief bill included a swan song – additional reliefs dollars to boost the Save Our Stages legislation and a critical technical fix to allow venues to access PPP and flexible grant support. Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling small businesses, like independent venues in the Finger Lakes, not only makes sense, but it’s the curtain call needed to keep small businesses like the Bug Jar going.”

Schumer said that live venues remain one of the hardest hit industries as the state carefully reopens, and dedicated assistance from the American Rescue Plan will save many venues from permanently shutting their doors to the public. It is estimated that by the end of 2020 live venues across the country lost $9 billion in ticket sales alone.

The senator said the federal assistance was imperative because independent venues not only drive economic activity within communities through restaurants, hotels, taxis and other transportation and retail establishments, but live events provide 75 percent of all artists’ income.

The December package included $15 billion to create the Save Our Stages program after Schumer’s tireless efforts to pass it into law. The program, which will be overseen by the Small Business Administration, provide assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.

Grant amounts equal to 45 percent of gross revenue in 2019 for the venue, up to $10 million, can be used for various costs, including payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, PPE procurement, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.

To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90 percent of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70 percent can apply. A reserve of 20 percent of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion out of the $15 billion provided, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days. There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.

American Rescue Plan's Impact on New York

Additionally, Schumer detailed the American Rescue Plan’s tentative impact to New York as more than $100 billion dollars. The deal includes the additional round of direct stimulus checks for tens of thousands of Finger Lakes residents, on top of aid to help schools safely reopen, vaccine distribution, critical pension relief, an expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, new rental assistance, agriculture and nutrition assistance, direct local fiscal relief to revive the local economy and help solve the Finger Lakes’ budget woes, all of which adds up to essential relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent live venues and small businesses across the state. 

Schumer also highlighted that researchers have said that the American Rescue Plan will cut the child poverty rate in half, which is especially important for Rochester as the city ranks the highest for child poverty among cities of a comparable size, with 48 percent of children living below the poverty line.

THIS PLAN:

  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6). An estimated 3.56 million children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit, and it will lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line. It is estimated that New York families will receive $7.03 billion in relief from the enhanced CTC.
  • Strengthens the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers, many of whom are in lower-paid but essential jobs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, benefitting 910,000 of these workers in New York. It is estimated that New York families will receive over $786 million will receive in relief from the enhanced ETIC.

Money for the Finger Lakes Region

Sends $22 million in direct payments of $1,400 to over 9 million New Yorkers. That includes approximately $1.4 billion in direct payments for more than an estimated 556,000 households in the Finger Lakes Region: An estimated 344,000 households in Monroe County will receive approximately a total of $858 million; an estimated 41,500 households in Wayne County will receive approximately a total of $104 million; an estimated 51,000 households in Ontario County will receive about a total of $127 million; an estimated 29,000 households in Livingston County will receive approximately a total of $72 million; an estimated 18,500 households in Orleans County will receive approximately a total of $46 million; an estimated 26,500 households in Genesee County will receive approximately a total of $66 million; an estimated 18,000 households in Wyoming County will receive approximately a total of $46 million; an estimated 16,000 households in Seneca County will receive approximately a total of $39 million; and an estimated 11,500 households in Yates County will receive approximately a total of $29 million.

As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion in state and local aid will be going to New York, with more than $566.31 million going directly to the Finger Lakes Region. New York State government will receive over $12 billion, solving the state’s budget woes. 

With 50 percent of Rochester’s rental units currently occupied by tenants spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, Schumer explained that rental assistance, included in the American Rescue Plan, is also a necessary tool of fighting poverty.

This funding is a win-win allowing residents to cover past-due rent and future rent payments while maintaining rental streams for property owners needed to maintain this housing. Without this federal aid, too many families would be unable to make payments, through no fault of their own, and be faced with the prospect of being thrown out of their homes in the middle of a pandemic.

EPPI 2.0 builds and improves upon the success of EPPI 1.0, which was launched last summer thanks to funding Schumer secured in the CARES Act. Changes in the second round of the program include less cumbersome eligibility guidelines to qualify for rent relief; and the ability of landlords to apply for relief on behalf of their tenants with their consent.

Funding for Education

The American Rescue Plan also includes $9 billion for New York’s K-12 schools – these flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. Finger Lakes school districts will receive $404.5 million in total in K-12 support funds.

New York’s Colleges and Universities will also receive $2.6B from the American Rescue Plan, half of which must be distributed to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. Finger Lakes colleges will receive $163.8 million in total.

Funding for Transit 

Schumer was able to secure more than $7 billion in transit funding for New York, with $45.5 million going toward the Rochester Transit Services (RTS), $12,061,336 for Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Airport, and $219,000 for other Finger Lakes airports.

Multiemployer Pension Plan Relief

The legislation also delivers critical relief for suffering multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting benefits retirees have earned. In New York State alone, there are more than 1.3 million participants in multiemployer pension plans, and around 624,600 New Yorkers are participants in plans that are expected to receive relief directly through this legislation.

“As Majority Leader, I fought hard to ensure this deal sent real relief to the tune of $100 billion to New York for workers, families, farmers, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and communities in Ithaca—the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” Schumer said. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Finger Lakes residents still need real help to get through this.”

March 29, 2021 - 12:14pm
posted by Press Release in news, Oak Orchard Health, COVID-19, American Rescue Plan Act.

Press release:

Oak Orchard Health is pleased to announce it has received notification that it will be awarded $3.7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

These funds will be used to: expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver preventive and primary health care services to people at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. 

“This is great news for all of us at Oak Orchard Health and is another reminder of the importance of all the work we do,” says Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO Oak Orchard Health.

Oak Orchard Health

Originally founded in 1966, Oak Orchard has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services for everyone located in the communities we serve. Currently serving more than 26,000 patients at 11 locations, Oak Orchard Health is a recognized patient-centered medical home and 501(c) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in the towns of Albion, Alexander, Batavia, Brockport, Corfu, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

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