Rep. Susie Lee visited Boulder City on Tuesday, April 6, to tout how the American Rescue Plan will benefit the community, small businesses, local residents and the city government, which will receive $14 million directly.
The $1.9 trillion rescue plan, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, is designed to “get vaccines into the people’s arms, children back into school seats, money into people’s pockets and, most importantly, people back to work,” Lee said.
“We are doing what we can to get resources into the community,” she added.
The rescue plan aims to mitigate the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing $2.95 billion to state governments and $1.14 billion to local governments, along with $3 billion for economic development administration to aid communities that have been disproportionately impacted by a decline in travel and tourism, she said.
The act also designated funds specifically for restaurants and shuttered performing arts venues and put an 8.5 percent cap on how much of a person’s income they can spend on health care through the Affordable Cares Act marketplace.
In addition to the $1,400 stimulus for most Americans, the plan targets small municipalities of 500,000 or less that did not receive funds directly through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, Lee said.
The $14 million Boulder City receives will support residents through nonprofits to provide food and financial aid, rental and utility assistance, child care and funds for small businesses and infrastructure projects.
Mayor Kiernan McManus said it will allow city staff to continue its efforts to keep residents safe, housed and fed, and keep businesses open.
“The impact on the senior community has been heart-wrenching,” he said during the press conference at the Senior Center of Boulder City, noting the hub for many activities had been closed for months.
“Many families went weeks without paychecks,” McManus added.
In addition to coordinating assistance through the city’s Emergency Operations Center, staff and volunteers were able to provide about 7,000 tests and 9,000 vaccines for COVID-19.
He also cited the economic impact the pandemic had on businesses that were closed temporarily, had restrictions on their operations and the financial burden of providing personal protective equipment for their staff.
“I am happy to report that help is here and more help is on the way,” Lee said.
“As good as we are, this will make us better,” McManus added.
After leaving the senior center, Lee and McManus visited Vinny’s Pizzeria, which recently received a $10,000 grant to help weather the pandemic.
There, the two met with owners Vincenzo “Vinny” and Tina Cimino, and talked about the challenges they faced in the past year, including the death of Tina Cimino’s mother from COVID-19 and the difficulty of keeping their nine employees working.
Vinny Cimino also provided Lee a hands-on lesson in pizza making.
“If there is one food item I couldn’t live without, it’s pizza,” Lee said.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.