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Alabama cities, counties await millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 9:56 PM CDT
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DECATUR, ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Counties and cities all over Alabama are waiting on millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan program from the federal government.

Nearly $200 million is currently going to counties in north Alabama.

The question is, how will the money be spent?

The mayor of Athens and the Decatur City Council president tell WAFF the city councils still need to vote on how the funds will be used, but both agree, improving the cities sewer systems is a top priority.

$10.8 million to the River City, and $6.4 million to Athens; these are just two examples of the millions of dollars cities and counties across the state are waiting on.

Now, local leaders are deciding how to spend it, but not without limitations.

“Anytime you talk to a potential developer, whether it be commercial, retail, or especially residential, the first thing they ask is, ‘Do you have the utilities to support my potential development?’,” Jacob Ladner said.

Decatur City Council President Jacob Lander tells us he and Mayor Tab Bowling agree, allocating a portion of those dollars to the sewer system is important.

“There are definitely places that are ready for development that we don’t have sewer available. So hopefully we’ll be able to use it for expanding that infrastructure because that’s what these developers need, to know that we are ready to do business with them,” he explained.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks says updating and expanding city sewer lines is also a big possibility in Athens. He added the city is looking at putting some money towards communication for future emergencies.

“If certain things shut down, we cant talk to Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, and maybe even inside our own city with our county staff, our public works. And to enhance that system we’ve been presented with the opportunity to go to the P25 systems. If this is something that we can approve, then I think that’s money well spent,” Marks said.

In total, $779 million will go to cities in Alabama, while, $951 million will go to counties in Alabama.

Cities and counties will receive their share in two checks split 50/50.
Cities and counties will receive their share in two checks split 50/50.(WAFF)

To read the full county by county breakdown for the entire state, click here.

See the breakdown for each city below:

Mayor Marks tells me us expecting to get the first of two checks in a matter of weeks, with the second half of the money coming next year.

Attorney General Steve Marshall today says he encourages city and county leaders to use a portion of the money to help reduce crime. He says investing in police departments, hiring more officers and purchasing new technology will benefit the community.

Of course, we will keep you updated on what they decide.

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