Columbus City Council approves allocation of $39.2 Million funds

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As the economy recovers amidst the pandemic, Columbus City Council approved a motion that will help the Fountain City get back on track.

A motion passed today means the city of Columbus is getting almost $80 million, half of it now and the other half later.

With $78.4 million dollars to spend, city council voted today on how the first half of those funds, $39.2 million dollars, will be allocated throughout the city.

Those funds were given to the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG) after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act in March, providing economic relief to help as many states across the nation recover during the pandemic.

With input from the community on how the money should be spent, city council unanimously approved a list of spending priorities. Columbus Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge says some of those funds will be used to benefit those who have been working hard since the start of the pandemic.

“19 million for the automation of garbage trucks, $5 million for pay associated with city employees who worked through the pandemic,” said Hodge.

Columbus City Council also approved $2.1 million dollars to purchase six ambulances. Hodge says the city is working on getting applications ready so small business owners can apply for grant money.

“What council approved today was the purchase of the six ambulances. The other items that were included in the American Rescue Plan as far as the small business grant program...the tourism grant, those applications will be released shortly.”

Grants will also be available to non-profit organizations and for economic tourism. The guidelines for applying for these grants are currently being discussed and applications should be available soon.

No word yet on how the second half of the money, another $39 million, will be spent.

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