Cusseta declines COVID-19 relief funds

Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
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CUSSETA, Ala. (WTVM) - After extensive controversy, the president’s American Rescue Plan was passed. It provides funding to individuals and communities around the nation to help ease some of the problems caused by the pandemic.

A number of cities and municipalities are trying to figure out what to do with their COVID-19 relief funds that are available to them through the State of Alabama, but some small towns in the state have actually turned the funds down. Cusseta, Alabama is one of them.

Census figures show the town of Cusseta’s population is at 124 people. Grant funding totaling $14,723.89 was set aside for the town. That equates to almost $119 per person, but the funds were turned down.

It’s unclear why. Efforts to ask the mayor and the Chambers County Commission were unsuccessful.

Cusseta wasn’t the only place to walk away from the money. There were 18 towns in total that turned the money down for a total of over half a million dollars.

Five towns in Alabama didn’t even respond to being notified that they were eligible for the funds. The funds didn’t have to be spent until the end of 2024.

The act lays out specifics of what the money can and cannot be used for - things like public health, negative economic impacts, and infrastructure.

The numbers in that report are courtesy of the Alabama Finance Department.

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