BEAUFORT, S.C. (Oc.t 27, 2021) – The City of Beaufort has received approximately half of the $6.54 million it has been designated through the American Rescue Plan. In a presentation to City Council during Work Session on Oct. 26, City Manager Bill Prokop unveiled a preliminary plan for the funds.
A substantial amount, approximately $4 million, is proposed to be used to fund City of Beaufort stormwater infrastructure projects. Several neighborhoods in the City continue to be at risk of flooding caused by heavy rainfall, king tides, and tropical storms. Approximately $1 million is proposed to help fund efforts to increase affordable housing in the area, one of Beaufort County and the City of Beaufort’s biggest challenges.
The balance, approximately $1.54 million is proposed to be used for a variety of needs, including:
- Preparing for the next pandemic or Covid variant.
- Increasing security measures throughout the City.
- Replacing outdated body cameras and dashboard cameras for the Police Department.
This discussion was preliminary. The City will solicit public input before any action is taken by City Council.
Under the American Rescue Plan, funds that are earmarked for local governments can be used to:
- Support public health expenditures.
- Replace lost public sector revenue that occurred as a result of the virus and that are essential public services.
- Address negative economic impacts to workers, households, small businesses, and public sector caused by the Covid public health emergency.
- Invest in certain kinds of infrastructure.
The City of Beaufort is expected to receive the remaining 50% of its allocation around October of 2022. It must obligate all of its funds by December 31, 2024, and spend them all by Dec. 31, 2026.
The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congress earlier this year and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. It is a stimulus package that provided relief to families, businesses and governments impacted by Covid-19.