Loudoun County, Virginia, is laying out the ways in which it plans to use funding from President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package that Congress recently passed.
Virginia is expecting to receive $4 billion from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Loudoun County will get $80 million in two tranches. The first will provide immediate relief, while the second will be devoted to more long-term issues.
“I think we need to husband our resources and guard them well,” said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) at the virtual session. “This is, I think, will be the last of the COVID relief packages.”
Phyllis Randall, chair of the county Board of Supervisors, said supporting the vaccination effort is among their top priorities.
As of the meeting, Randall said the county has surpassed administering 130,000 vaccines, but almost half of those went to non-residents.
“We have still a good little waiting list to get through just to get through everybody in [Phase] 1B,” said Randall. “We haven’t even started 1C yet.”
Randall said immediate funding will also go toward rental and business assistance, along with nonprofits, while the second round of funds will be devoted to infrastructure needs, such as providing better internet service to underserved areas.
“In rural and western Loudoun County, we have people who just do not have solid and reliable broadband,” Randall said.
He said it put people in an “unequal disadvantage” during the pandemic with the increase of telework.
Others also pointed out the significance of the federal funding relief for the Metro system, which was facing enormous budget issues that would’ve likely resulted in mass layoffs and service cuts.
“One of my top priorities is getting people back on the road, back on the trains and back to work,” said Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, who thanked Warner for playing a part in ensuring Metro had the funding to avoid major cuts.
On top of the expected $80 million in funding, Randall said individual towns will also receive their own allocation of funds that the county will distribute.
“Loudoun, including our towns, will get over $85 million when we start counting in the money that towns will receive,” said Randall.
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