Federal money helps here

Published 5:22 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act has brought some federal money into the city, and it will be benefiting nonprofit organizations as well as individuals and families.

The city will be receiving nearly $1.3 million in American Recovery Plan Act money to provide help for residents who are more than 60 days past due on their utility bills.

Interim Director of Public Utilities Paul Retel told City Council this week that the money will automatically benefit customers who were more than 60 days past due on their water bills at the end of August. The money will be split among all of these customers until, hopefully, there is no more money left over.

We anticipate this program will be highly successful and will help a lot of people in Suffolk who are in need. Despite the pandemic being more than a year and a half old, many people remain significantly affected. We applaud the city for not making those in need go through the rigmarole of applying for assistance or having to prove they need assistance due to the pandemic.

This is not the first time the city has applied federal pandemic-related assistance to overdue water bills. In fact, there were two phases of a similar program last year through the CARES Act.

In other federal assistance related news, you can also find details in today’s paper on a program that will allow local nonprofit organizations to apply for money. These applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations that are planning projects to respond to the ongoing pandemic and its negative impacts on Suffolk residents or address economic harm sustained by the nonprofit organization as a result of the pandemic. These organizations have until Dec. 22 to apply for this money.

The city has worked hard to ensure this federal assistance continues to flow into the hands of local residents and others in need.