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City of Tulsa, Tulsa County to receive more than $200 million from American Rescue Plan
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City of Tulsa, Tulsa County to receive more than $200 million from American Rescue Plan

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Tulsa County and the city of Tulsa will receive a combined $214.4 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Tulsa County will receive $126.6 million over two years, and the city will receive $87.8 million over the same time period.

The city and county were notified of their allocations Monday. Half of the funding will be allocated this month and the other half in May 2022.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion for states, counties, cities and tribal territories to mitigate economic harm, including the loss of revenue, caused by the pandemic.

Allocations are tied to population and unemployment rates.

The funding is also being spent on the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, on reopening schools safely and for direct payments to citizens.

Mayor’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Brooks said the city would review the Treasury Department’s guidelines before commenting on how the funds will be allocated.

Mayor G.T. Bynum indicated earlier this year that the city of Tulsa did not necessarily need the money.

“Unlike, apparently, other cities out there, we don’t need to be bailed out by anybody,” Bynum said. “Our budget is balanced, but if there are things that we can be doing to help our neighbors through such a challenging time, then we are going to evaluate what those things might be and try to utilize these funds in the most prudent way possible.”

Bynum has stated repeatedly that ARP funding should be used for one-time expenditures — not for programs or projects that would require long-term funding.

“We don’t want to take on expenses that increase our operating costs at the city of Tulsa,” he said.

Last year, the county was charged with allocating $113.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security — or CARES — Act.

The city has received $54.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding, including $30.9 million in CARES Act funding.

County Commissioner Ron Peters said he expects that the county will use the same application and review process to distribute American Rescue Plan funds that it used to distribute CARES dollars.

“The important thing is, I hope we get some guidance soon so we know how to start getting the money to the people who need it,” Peters said.

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