American Rescue Plan funds of $14 Million to be given to Medina County and its cities, Atascosa Co and its cities projected at $15 Million

Medina County is projected to receive $10,004,399 as part of the American Rescue Plan, and the ciites will receive separate allocations. Overall Medina County and it’s cities are projected to receive over $14 million combined.
According to National Association of Counties, the American Rescue Plan funds given to local counties and cities can be used for a variety of purposes, such as assistance to local households or small businesses, but they do not have to be used for that purpose.
The County will be discussing various ways it could be used this Thursday at the Medina County Commissioner’s meeting, as well each city council at their upcoming meetings.
Many small businesses are still struggling to recover from a Covid economy. One of the local business owners we spoke to is John Mayse, who opened PFC in Devine around 1990.
“I still pray every night that my business can continue supporting my family and all of my employees families. We have 7 employees. Most of my employees have been with me over a decade. Mary has been with me for 30 years, since we first started. So we’re all like a family, but business has never been worse,” said John Mayse, PFC Finance in Devine.
“We are struggling, like so many other businesses,” Mayse adds, “We have taken a big hit from Covid, and we are still losing money every month. My staff is working hard, they are doing everything right, but we are just faced with a really bad situation in the finance business right now. We have been here for 30 years and have always done what we can to help the community, but business is the worst it’s ever been. We are going to work together and do what we can to make it work.”
The cities’ own allocations are projected to be:
Devine- $1,052,909
Castroville- $680,063
Hondo- $2,057,415
LaCoste- $271,894
Lytle is projected to receive $668,507- $670,000 (the projected estimates provided by Medina and Atascosa for Lytle vary a little at this time)
The City of Lytle is the “tri-county city” with residents residing in Medina, Atascosa, and Bexar County. Lytle’s Allocation is projected around $670,000. Lytle Mayor Ruben Gonzalez explained that “We are still waiting to apply for it. The money is designated to the City but you still have to go through the paperwork process. Once we receive the money, we will have a workshop to discuss how it will be used.”
“We just recently received the $130,000 from the previous allocation from last year, but this one is supposed to come in a lot faster and be an easier process. This coming Monday, City Council will be discussing how the funds will be spent $130,000 from the previous year’s allocations.”
“I cannot speak on behalf of Council, but I can say that at the top of our list for consideration and one of our main priorities right now is to take care of the City’s second water well, “ Mayor Gonzalez added.
Natalia- $346,681
Natalia Mayor Tommy Ortiz stated, “There are a very wide variety of way to use the funds. I’m sure at our next meeting, April 19th, it is something we will be discussing. The way I see it, it could be used to for something that will help our City not just in the short term, but also in the long term. The decision is up to council on how it will be spent, and I am sure they will make the right decision.”
Atascosa County
As part of the American Rescue Plan total projected allocations for Atascosa County Allocation is projected at: $9,920,000.
All Atascosa cities combined, including Atascosa County itself, are projected to get a total of $15,180,000 together.
What can the American Rescue Plan funds be used for?
It is up to County and City leaders to decide how they want to use the Covid-relief funds.
It can be used to “Respond to or mitigate the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 emergency or its negative economic impacts, including:
– assistance to households,
-small businesses, and nonprofits,
-or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality”
It could also be used for:
• Provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue (i.e. online, property or income tax) due to the public health emergency.
• Make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
•State and local governments can transfer the funds to a private nonprofit organization, a public benefit corporation involved in the transportation of passengers or cargo or a special-purpose unit of State or local government.
• Respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the county that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible
• The deadline to spend funds is December 31, 2024.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is an emergency legislative package that was signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to provide continued relief to families and individuals that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Texas Tribune reported “President Joe Biden signed into law a massive spending bill, intended to offset the health and economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, that will send direct payments to millions of Texans and billions of dollars in aid for state and local governments and schools.”
“The bill’s scope is sweeping. Broadly speaking, it will distribute stimulus checks as large as $1,400 to millions of Americans, another $350 billion to cities and states that experienced declines in tax revenue and increases in expenses, and $130 billion toward education. The bill also funds an additional $300 in unemployment payments per week until early September.”
“Republicans have opposed the bill, however, saying that it’s too broad and includes massive amounts of spending that is permanent and not directly related to the coronavirus.”
Another article reports that “in March, the number of unemployment claims Texans filed each week jumped to levels not seen since last summer. Experts say that’s due to the February storm and a new congressional aid package that extended some benefits.”