UP counties getting $56M from COVID stimulus

Counties will have until 2024 to spend the money.
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 2:26 PM EDT
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - Right now, millions of dollars in federal aid is on the way to Upper Michigan.

The funding is coming from the stimulus package passed by congress and signed by President Joe Biden last week.

U.P. counties are receiving a total of $56,283,834. Below is a county-by-county list which is estimated by the Michigan County Association.

CountyEstimated funding
Alger County$1,782,198
Baraga County$1,606,287
Chippewa County$7,308,224
Delta County$7,001,995
Dickinson County$4,938,613
Gogebic County$2,734,543
Houghton County$6,982,427
Iron County$2,165,327
Keweenaw County$414,046
Luce County$1,218,853
Mackinac County$2,113,082
Marquette County$13,051,253
Menominee County$4,457,451
Ontonagon County$1,119,255
Schoolcraft County$1,583,784

Now, it is the counties’ job to spend the money.

“It’s going to be a balancing act on how we do this because you don’t want to, as an organization, to misspend or misappropriate dollars and then potentially have to repay something,” said Scott Erbisch, Marquette County Administrator.

Nearly all Upper Michigan counties will receive at least a million dollars (see list above). Marquette County leads the U.P. with $13 million and Delta County will also receive $7 million.

“I don’t know this for sure, but I can be safe in saying that this is probably one of the most, if not the most, amount of money at one time that the county has ever received to go directly into their budget,” said Emily DeSalvo, Delta County Administrator.

Now the search for how to spend it is on.

“I know that a lot of places, Delta County to be included in that, had significant budget cuts going into 2021 because of loss of revenue in 2020 so this is very helpful,” said DeSalvo.

Counties will have until 2024 to spend the money. Sixty percent of it will be received within two months and the other 40 percent will come in a year.

“How might you be able to implement these things that may help protect in a future pandemic situation or just in general as far as the health and safety of employees within the organization,” said Erbisch.

Both administrators say the counties are still learning more about how the funding can be used and will make further decision in the coming months.

“This money is for the people, it’s for the residents and small businesses here in Delta County so they can continue to operate,” said DeSalvo. “It’s going to be a long process. I don’t foresee us spending any of this money right away.”

Counties are far from the only ones receiving federal aid. Cities and townships will also be receiving their own money. Many of the larger cities, like Marquette and Escanaba, are getting over a million dollars.

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