Millions of relief funds for Hudson County

Senators release breakdown of more than $10 billion in state funds

The allocation of relief funds is partially modeled after Senator Bob Menendez's SMART Act.
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The allocation of relief funds is partially modeled after Senator Bob Menendez's SMART Act.

Hudson County is set to receive $424,614,802 of federal funding. U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker released a county-by-county and town-by-town breakdown of the $10.189 billion in direct, flexible, federal assistance to state and local governments allocated to New Jersey in the American Rescue Plan.

Of the roughly $424.6 million allocated to Hudson County, the county government will received $130.4 million. $294 million will go to municipalities. Jersey City will receive the most funds at about $145.8 million, followed by Bayonne with $39.2 million, Hoboken with $27.2 million, West New York with $26.8 million, Union City with $26.4 million, North Bergen with $17.8 million, Kearny with $4 million, Secaucus with $2.2 million, Harrison with $2 million, Weehawken with $1.4 million, Guttenberg with $1.1 million, and East Newark with $255,403.

The American Rescue Plan’s $1.9 trillion in COVID relief contains $360 billion in state and local aid to help keep essential workers on the job, assist struggling families and small businesses, and make critical investments in infrastructure.

The final funding formula targets federal resources to areas with the greatest need and is modeled after Menendez’s bipartisan SMART Act, cosponsored by Booker, netting New Jersey around $1 billion more than had the money been distributed based on population.

To determine need, the formula allocates virtually all the funding dedicated to state governments based on the number of unemployed persons in each state compared to the overall U.S. population.

New Jersey will receive approximately $6.434 billion and another $189 million to expand broadband internet across the state.

An additional $1.823 billion will be split among the 21 county governments and $1.741 billion divided among all 565 cities and municipalities.

‘Bleeding resources’

“Our state and local governments have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19,” Menendez said. “They have been bleeding resources for over a year while costs have soared and revenues have plummeted. As a result, they have borne the brunt of the economic pain and desperately need help.

“This badly needed federal funding will not just keep the lights on at City Hall, it will also help our communities get more vaccines in people’s arms, keep our first responders, teachers and other essential workers on the job, maintain our infrastructure and critical services, help our small businesses stay afloat, and put us on a smoother path toward economic recovery after the pandemic. This was a long and hard-fought battle, but I am pleased to be able to deliver in this COVID relief package billions in direct, flexible federal assistance to each and every corner of New Jersey.”

Booker echoed the statement.

“In the midst of the greatest public health and economic crises of our lifetimes, it is unacceptable New Jersey schools, hospitals, small businesses, and workers faced the additional threat of budgetary shortfalls,” he said.

“With state and local governments across our country facing the painful decisions of potentially laying off thousands of police officers, firefighters, teachers, and other essential workers, and cutting essential services, the full support of our federal government has never been more important to fight this pandemic. The federal funding in this COVID relief package will help provide the relief that New Jerseyans desperately need, and I was proud to work with Senator Menendez in getting it across the finish line.”

The direct, flexible funding can be used by state and local governments to pay COVID-related expenses; cover lost revenues due to the pandemic to maintain critical services and avoid layoffs of essential workers; provide additional assistance to residents and small businesses; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Both Hoboken and Jersey City’s mayors said they were grateful for the funds.

“Hoboken’s allocation of $27 million from the federal relief bill is incredible news for our community,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “Help is finally on the way for working families, small businesses and our City’s recovery efforts as we overcome the devastation of the pandemic. I’m extremely grateful to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and Congressman Sires for hearing our continued feedback and insisting on funding for cities like Hoboken. The American Rescue Plan is one of the most consequential bills passed by the federal government of our lifetime, and it will soon make a direct, positive impact for our Mile Square.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop thanked state legislators and President Joe Biden.

“This will go a long way to helping Jersey City families that have been struggling,” he said, noting it will also help stabilize “a municipal budget that has been devastated.”

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.