Prince George’s County municipalities are set to receive a collective $160 million in federal pandemic recovery funds to spend over the next three years, according to tentative calculations from the Maryland Municipal League.
College Park tops the list, receiving an estimated $26.8 million in pandemic relief funds. Other cities in the greater Route 1 corridor receiving significant funds are Laurel ($21.4 million), Greenbelt ($19.4 million), Hyattsville ($15.2 million) and Bladensburg ($7.9 million.)
According to a summary from the National Law Review, these funds may only be used for one of four broadly-defined purposes:
- To provide direct aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits and industries affected by the pandemic.
- To fund “premium pay” for essential employees of state and local governments, not to exceed $13 per hour or $25,000 per worker.
- To make up for shortfalls in government revenue caused by the pandemic.
- To make improvements to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
The money must be spent by Dec. 31, 2023. The funds cannot be used for pensions, nor can the funds be used to offset revenue losses from tax cuts approved after March 3, 2021
“These funds are a significant opportunity for Hyattsville to alleviate some of the economic burden that the pandemic has had on residents, businesses, and city revenues, and make investments in infrastructure upgrades,” said Hyattsville City Councilor Daniel Schaible in an email to constituents. “I am interested in providing additional targeted COVID relief for residents and businesses, reimbursing the City for relief we have already provided, and investing in green stormwater infrastructure and tree planting.”