MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — The four towns on Mount Desert Island will receive a total of $1.1 million of the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that Congress passed last week, according to the Maine Municipal Association.
Bar Harbor is to receive $550,000; Mount Desert $210,000; Southwest Harbor $180,000; and Tremont and Trenton $160,000 each. As for the outer island towns, Swan’s Island will receive $30,000 and the Cranberry Isles and Frenchboro will each receive $10,000. Hancock County will receive about $10.7 million.
The COVID relief package, the official title of which is the American Rescue Plan Act, states: “$19.53 billion will be allocated to municipalities with populations of generally fewer than 50,000…with allocations capped at 75 percent of the locality’s most recent budget as of January 27, 2020.”
The American Rescue Plan Act allows municipalities to use COVID relief funds to respond to the negative economic impact of COVID-19 including “assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality.”
Relief funds also may be used to make up for the loss of tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to make “necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.”
Maine cities and town are expected to receive a total of about $233 million.
Relief funds for states and municipalities are to be distributed to states within 60 days of the American Rescue Plan Act becoming law, which occurred on March 11. The Treasury Department can distribute half the money then and the rest within 12 months.