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More Than $107 Million In Funds From American Rescue Plan Headed To Westmoreland County

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- The American Rescue Plan is now law and more than $107 million of it is headed to Westmoreland County.

County leaders say when it comes to the relief money, they want it in the hands of business owners and those helping residents in need.

"It is desperately needed to hit the street as soon as possible," said Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli.

The $107.1 million can be used for county pandemic revenue shortfalls, broadband, water and sewer upgrades. It can also be used for coronavirus response and planning efforts.

But it's important to remember that the federal government isn't going to show up with a check. The money will be spread out over a period of time.

"We have 24 months to spend it and we'll get a little upfront and it will come progressively after that," said Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes.

Cerilli and Kertes said they'd like to earmark certain amounts for various projects, including coronavirus-related costs for the courthouse, county prison and Westmoreland Manor.

But that is not all.

"We have the nonprofits dealing with so much more volume with individuals in our community communities," said Cerilli.

Allan Lydic is the owner of the Greensburg News Stand. He hopes his business is not overlooked when it comes time to distribute the cash the pandemic took from him.

"I still have rent to pay, that hasn't gone down. I still have utilities and the expenses that go with owning a business and not as much money coming in to cover those expenses," said Lydic.

The commissioners say they're waiting for more specific guidelines when it comes to the funds and distribution. However, we do know that it cannot be used to reduce taxes or add to pension funds.

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