It’s one thing to approve $1.9 trillion in American Rescue Plan aid for the country, including $65.1 billion for its 19,000 municipalities. It’s another to sort out how all those cities, towns and villages can spend the money.
The federal largesse, meant to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, will funnel $2.6 billion to municipalities in Connecticut, including $1.6 billion for general government and $1 billion for schools. The general government portion includes $870 million in aid to cities and towns and $691 million for counties, which, because there is no county government in the state, will be distributed to municipalities on a per capita basis.
A total of $114.4 million is earmarked for general government in New London County, a sum that includes $63 million in direct awards to cities and towns as well as a $51.4 million county allocation.
The county’s two “entitlement cities” — New London and Norwich — are set to directly receive $21.8 million and $21.5 million, respectively, nearly 38% of the total being directly lavished on the county’s municipal governments.
So far, the only guidance the federal government has provided on spending the money is what’s spelled out in the American Rescue Plan Act itself, which Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law March 11, according to Mike Muszynski, state and federal relations manager for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.
“There’s still some ambiguity as far as…