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A new law permits Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge to request ARPA funding



Butte, Montana – When the Local Assistance Fairness Act was approved by Congress, the governments of Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge will now be eligible to receive about a million dollars each from the American Rescue Plan Act monies.

The COVID-19 pandemic recovery aid bill was proposed by Senators. Jon Tester and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala., enable county-municipal entities excluded from the original ARPA measure to obtain financial support from the federal government.

Tester claims that J.P. Gallagher and Bill Everett, two chief executives, were crucial to the passage of this legislation. The Treasury Department first declined to provide other governments the full amount they were entitled to when they asked for ARPA funding on the grounds that they had to adhere to the letter of the law, which excluded county-municipality governments. The two then sought assistance from Tester.

According to Tester, there was no entirely apparent legislative purpose when these governments were excluded, therefore this exclusion was not necessarily an error.

“We clarified the legislative intent with the bill called the Local Assistance Fairness Act. And when people come together and make a little noise, people listen,” he said.

According to Gallagher, the governments do not currently have a clear idea of how they would allocate the funds once they receive it. Yet it will be put back into the neighborhood and its infrastructure.

“We know that this is important to our citizens, to the taxpayers. You know, infrastructure needs throughout our community,” Gallagher said. “Our businesses that struggled throughout the pandemic are all things we’ve identified and we’ve worked with through COVID-19.”

According to Tester, this is a pivotal time in these communities’ post-pandemic rehabilitation. The funding for these jurisdictions is anticipated to be distributed within a month after the application period opens on Wednesday.

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