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Seven Mississippi cities set to split $101M in COVID-19 relief funding, White House says

Photo of $100 bills.
Photo of $100 bills.(Source: WVUE)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:39 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - Seven Mississippi cities are set to split more than $101 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, a recent COVID-19 relief act.

According to a breakdown of funds provided by the Biden administration, Jackson, Gulfport, and several other major municipalities in the state are slated to split the funds.

Jackson will receive nearly $42.1 million, while Gulfport will receive $19.5 million, and Hattiesburg will receive nearly $12.9 million. Biloxi will receive about a tenth of the funds coming down, with $11.1 million slated to be delivered by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Other cities receiving direct funding include:

  • Southaven ($7,604,974)
  • Pascagoula ($5,167,294)
  • Moss Point ($2,722,613)

Meanwhile, the state is expected to receive more than $1.8 billion, while each county in Mississippi will receive its share of the $65 billion being awarded to counties across the country.

Hinds, Harrison, DeSoto, and Rankin appear to be some of the biggest beneficiaries, with each receiving more than $30 million. Issaquena County, meanwhile, is set to receive just under $258,000.

Cities that do not receive a direct allocation can still seek American Rescue Plan funding through the state. Each state is expected to receive a portion of the $19.5 billion set aside for “non-entitlement units.”

According to the Treasury’s website, these are typically cities of fewer than 50,000. They do not receive a direct allocation from the federal government but can apply to the state for funding.

Mississippi will receive $268 million in “non-entitlement” dollars.

The monies are part of the American Rescue Plan, which was passed earlier this year.

Treasury officials announced that it would begin delivering the funds Monday.

The amount coming to Jackson is about $5 million less than city and state leaders were expecting.

The department also provided details on how the funds could be used. They include:

  • Supporting public health expenditures related to fighting, mitigating the virus
  • Replacing lost public sector revenue used to provide public services
  • Providing premium pay for essential workers or offering other services to workers who “will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors”
  • And investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

“Within the categories of eligible uses, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities,” according to a Treasury news release.

District 26 Sen. John Horhn said previously that Jackson should invest its ARP funding to address immediate needs at its water treatment plants, especially if it hopes to receive additional assistance from the state.

Mississippi state Sen. John Horhn is shaken up but thankful for his life after he was robbed at...
Mississippi state Sen. John Horhn is shaken up but thankful for his life after he was robbed at gunpoint.

Operations at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant were crippled in February when back-to-back ice storms ripped across the metro area. Approximately 43,000 customers were without water as a result.

In late April customers were without water again, after an electrical fire broke out at the plant temporarily forcing service to be cut yet again.

Following the winter storms, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba sent a letter requesting assistance from Gov. Tate Reeves.

“The city gave us a $47 million request, yet they’re getting $47 million from HUD,” Horhn said recently. “They could use the money they’re getting from that to make the repairs.

While only seven cities are slated to receive direct federal aid, every county in the state is expected to get a piece of the pie.

(See pages 32-34 of the document below to see how funding for each county in Mississippi breaks down.)

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