County Wants Your Help Spending $650 Million

Pile of Money
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San Diego County will be holding workshops this week, looking for input on how to spend federal funding headed San Diego's way as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed last week in Washington.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will be sending $647.5 million to the county, according to the office of Nathan Fletcher, who is the chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

"… San Diego County [will be] receiving its share in two installments -- $323.75 million in 60 days and another $323.75 12 months later," said a news release sent out Monday by Fletcher's office. "All funds have to be spent by Dec. 31, 2024."

Now, before you say, "Hello, Fashion Valley Mall," "Where's the Bentley dealership" or "credit card debt," you should know the money comes with strings attached. It's got to be targeted in one of five areas:

  • COVID-19 public-health response
  • Economic impacts
  • Reduction in revenue
  • Investment in infrastructure (water, sewer, broadband)
  • Premium pay for essential workers

So, got a particularly bad stretch of road you'd like resurfaced? Check. Think your bus driver deserves something extra? There you go.

California COVID-19 Vaccinations

The map tracks the number of doses administered by a recipient's county of residence according to the The California Department of Public Health.

Source: The statewide totals for doses administered reflect Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Otherwise we used data from the California Department of Public Health
Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Seems like a LOT of this cheese would go to fill county and local coffers, since tax revenue -- along with tourism and so much else -- has dried up dramatically over the past year.

Chair Fletcher, however, disagrees.

"We are going to put as much of the money as we can from the American Rescue Plan Act into helping working families and small businesses recover,” Fletcher is quoted in the news release. "The county is on solid fiscal footing in spite of this pandemic, and there are no major deficits to backfill other than our daily expenses for the response; we are in a good position and look forward to hearing from them about the action we can take to help them."

You should be warned, though: "The Board of Supervisors has already agreed to set aside $30 million … to help small businesses spend another $20 million for essential workers."

There's still time to let your voice be heard -- while District 1 and District 2 held workshops Monday (contact your county supervisor for those districts if you would like to offer input), three virtual workshops are scheduled for later this week:

Go here to figure out what district you're in.

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