Elmira’s plans for CARES Act stimulus money

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Officials for the City of Elmira are discussing how they will spend the $14 million they received as a part of the CARES Act.

Cities and counties across the country are receiving money from the federal government courtesy of the CARES Act passed in March 2020.

The purpose of the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill is to help local economies impacted by the coronavirus.

Mike Collins, Elmira City Manager, said they have an internal committee that has been working on suggestions and ideas on how to spend the $14 million. He said these recommendations will be made public, but they must be approved by the council first.

Collins told us what the money will not be spent on.

“Unfortunately, it can’t be used to not do a tax increase,” said Collins. “We’re very limited on how the money can be spent. So it would be beneficial if we were to do a tax increase, we could take the money out of the general fund. Unfortunately, that is not one way that we can use that money.”

Collins said that money could be used for various other COVID-related reasons. For example, the money could be used for hazard pay to essentials workers that worked through the pandemic, clinics where people can get tested, as well as infrastructure.

He informed us that originally the city was told they could spend the money however they pleased. However, the guidelines have changed.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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