By T. Scott Boatright
Lincoln Parish can expect an injection of COVID-19 relief funding in the near future.
The parish and its municipalities are expected to receive nearly $20 million in relief money from the recently-approved $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package and signed into effect by President Joe Biden on March 11.
Estimates from the National Association of Counties say that the Lincoln Parish Police Jury should receive a little more than $9 million while the Louisiana Municipal Association estimates that the city of Ruston should receive around $8.6 million.
COVID relief funding for other parish municipalities included estimates of $360,000 million for Choudrant, $330,000 for Dubach, $310,000 and for Simsboro.
Parish Administrator Doug Postel said he is waiting to receive federal guidelines before any decision on how the parish might use its funding while Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said increasing city reserve funding, which is several million dollars short of the level stood before the COVID-19 pandemic, is one area he’s targeting for use of the relief funding while constructing a new animal control facility as well as a planned new West California Avenue fire station could also receive some of the proceeds.
Louisiana as a state will receive a total of $5.8 billion that includes for state capital projects, state governments, parish governments and municipalities.
The American Rescue Plan signed by Biden requires half of the money headed to all entities to be distributed within 60 days with the other half arriving no longer than 12 months later.