Select members of Gov. Mark Gordon’s “Strike Team” convened Friday afternoon for a virtual town hall discussion on the state’s approach to considering proposals and distributing the more-than $1.6 billion in federal funds the state is receiving through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The American Rescue Plan is a stimulus package passed in March that aims to stem the COVID-19 pandemic by providing vaccine and other healthcare resources; providing immediate relief to both working citizens and those who remain unemployed during the ongoing pandemic; and supporting communities and businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic’s fallout, according to the White House’s overview of the plan.

ARPA will distribute $1.9 trillion in total, with the state of Wyoming receiving $1.68 billion to disperse among qualified and Legislature-approved proposals.

Renny MacKay, Gov. Gordon’s policy director, led the online town hall meeting Friday and said that Wyoming received $534 million of that total earlier this year and expects to receive an additional $534 million in early 2022.

The state has already received more than $3 billion in requests from various counties, municipalities, educational institutions, organizations and the like. Though MacKay acknowledged that there won’t be enough money to fund all of the qualifying proposals, he encouraged people to continue making requests, as they are always looking for bigger and better ideas, and there are cases where alternate funding sources could be available, even if not through ARPA funds.

MacKay noted that the initial phase after the pandemic struck was the “Survive Phase,” which he said had a “very specific focus on small businesses and those businesses impacted by COVID ... and making sure that those businesses could survive.” Much of that was funded by CARES Act dollars.

Looking toward the future, he said, Wyoming is moving into the “Drive and Thrive Phase,” which will be bolstered by the ARPA funds, which must be fully distributed by 2026.

MacKay did, though, note that the state is looking to spend the money as wisely as possible, given that the funds are taxpayer dollars.

For more information, the public is encouraged to visit drivethrive.wyo.gov, where they can also offer public comment on various proposals.

Contact Tim Woods at 732-5911 or town@jhnewsandguide.com.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
.
The News&Guide welcomes comments from our paid subscribers. Tell us what you think. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.