American Rescue Plan: Here's the latest update

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

The first round of allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan was deposited last week to the City of Alice and Jim Wells County. 

Jim Wells County was awarded a total of $7.85 million and the City of Alice $4.07 million. That means the first half, deposited included $3.93 million to the county and $2 million to the city. 

Yolanda Sosa Moran, the county-appointed consultant for the American Rescue Plan, presented to the commissioners' court on Friday, Aug. 27 on federal guidelines for the best practices and spending of the funds. 

Moran stressed the funds should support equality, diversity and community when strategically planning how they are spent. 

Moran said Broadband is a key focus to support virtual education for rural communities. She also provided a list of multiple funding opportunities that could support a variety of projects which would leave the ARP funds for innovation and economic development. 

Moran and Economic Development Director Larry Martinez are working together on plans and community engagement. 

"The guidelines highly suggest community involvement," Moran said. 

"I suggest each commissioner come up with a list of smaller projects for your precinct and we decide on one big project that will have long-reaching effects for economic development in the years to come," Moran added. 

It's not how we spend the money it's how we invest the money,  Martinez said. 

The City of Alice's current plan for funding includes infrastructure repair. 

"I plan to ask city council members again if they would consider setting aside a portion of funding for strategic planning to support small business incentives and community input for economic development," said Alice Mayor Cynthia Carrasco. 

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