$16 million fed funding viewed

Ector County commissioners on Tuesday will ponder what $16 million from a new round of federal pandemic-related funding should be used for.

Auditor Randy Donner said Monday that the county got the money in May from the U.S. Treasury Department and that it will receive another $16 million next summer as its share of the $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March.

“We haven’t done anything with it yet,” Donner said.

The special meeting will start at 2 p.m. in the commissioners’ courtroom in the county administration building at 1010 E. Eighth St.

The county last year was apportioned $2.6 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and spent it for pandemic-related supplies and equipment, personnel, testing, contact-tracing and contributions to charities.

In signing the law on March 11, President Biden said it was designed to speed the nation’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.

On party line votes, the measure was passed 219-212 Feb. 27 in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington and 50-49 March 6 in the Senate with Democratic Vice President Harris breaking the tie. It was introduced by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky, on Feb. 24.