More than $10 billion will soon flow into Connecticut as part of the American Rescue Plan — a $1.9 trillion economic relief package signed by President Joe Biden on March 11.
Durham specifically, is predicted to receive $0.71 million in municipal aid while Regional School District 13 is set to receive $472,000, according to estimates shared by Congressman John Larson’s office.
Municipalities can use the money to offset losses caused by the pandemic, to invest in water, sewer, and infrastructure, or to make grants to small businesses and nonprofit services.
The funds will also go directly to state residents in the form of stimulus checks, unemployment payouts, and more.
Individuals who have an adjusted gross income below $75,000 should be receiving $1,400, plus additional payments for any children. Married couples filing jointly must have an AGI under $150,000 to receive the full $2,800.
People who earn more than $80,000, or couples with incomes above $160,000, will not receive a payment.
Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement applauding approval of the American Rescue Plan.
“I commend President Biden, Congressional Democrats, and particularly Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for their leadership and commitment to providing long-delayed relief for millions of American families, small businesses, state and local governments, our schools and child care system, and communities struggling with the economic fallout of this pandemic. It is a remarkable achievement,” said Lamont.
While a few Durham and Middlefield residents said they are planning to use their stimulus checks to purchase items like fireworks and motor vehicle accessories, other residents, like Trish Dynia, said she and her husband will be investing the money in their grandchildrens’ college fund.
Another Durham resident, Kenna Rae, said she’d rather see the economy recover and schools reopen than receive monetary aid from the government.
“I don't want stimulus checks,” said Rae. “I want our businesses opened without restrictions — the small mom & pop businesses that are on the brink of extinction, if not already gone forever.”
Several residents, including Tera Ehler, are planning to make improvements to their homes. Although Ehler and her husband have been “fortunate and employed” throughout the pandemic she said she is grateful that those most impacted by COVID-19 are receiving financial support.
“I hope this bill marks a move not toward socialism, but toward reframing the government's role as protecting and supporting our most vulnerable members in society, as was popular in the post-war and Great Society era, rather than prioritizing the needs of big business,” Ehler said.