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U.S. Senator Manchin discusses benefits of COVID relief bill

written by Bella Palmer
covid-relief

In addition to individual aid, West Virginia will receive at least $4 billion in direct funding and more through grants and federal programs

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin was joined Wednesday by members of the West Virginia Municipal League, West Virginia Association of Counties and West Virginia County Commissioner Association to discuss the billions coming to the state in the America Rescue Plan.

I would recommend to every county, every commissioner get all your people together start looking at the projects that have been basically burning a hole, Manchin said hours of the measure was passed by the House. Something you could not fill something you desired. I would tell every municipality to get with all your council people sit down and start planning.

In addition to individual aid, West Virginia will receive at least $4 billion in direct funding and more through grants and federal programs.

There was more support to do local counties and municipalities than there was state and as we went down the path it’s a big number, Manchin said. I don’t think we missed a thing. We threw in everything but the kitchen sink.

Money can be used for a number of purposes such as small business aid, broadband, vaccines, education, child care, seniors, housing, transportation, veterans, hospitals and health, behavioural health, food assistance and firefighters and first responders.

A significant amount of money will also be going to cities and counties. Some of the cities receiving the most money include: Wheeling at $29.51 million, Weirton at $10.59 million, Moundsville at $3.43 million, New Martinsville at $2.13 million, Follansbee at $1.13 million and Wellsburg at $1.05 million, followed by Chester with 990,000 and Bethlehem and Paden City each with $970,000. McMechen is receiving $710,000.

As far as counties, Ohio County is receiving $8.03 million, Marshall County at $5.92 million, Hancock at $5.59 million, Brooke at $4.25 million, Wetzel at $2.92 million, and Tyler at $1.6 million.

Gang, if we can’t get our house in order with this I don’t know when we will ever do it, to be honest with you, Manchin said.

The money cannot be spent on pension funds or to fill budget holes under certain conditions.

It has to be documented, Manchin stated. There is going to be a lot of auditing. There was money in there for auditing so no one wants to do anything outside of the guardrails, if you will.

This will be finalized upon President Biden's signature, which is expected this week.

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