(Buffalo, NY) Erie County Legislature Chair April N. M. Baskin today announced details for how the county will spend the funds it will receive as part of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP was developed to help the nation recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes the stimulus checks that were sent to individuals earlier this year, as well as funding to state and local governments. Erie County will receive $89 million dollars in 2021 and another $89 million in 2022. In addition, Erie County will receive an additional $34 million this year from New York State to make up for cuts made during 2020. Chair Baskin worked with County Executive Poloncarz and members of the legislature’s Majority Caucus to develop a plan for Erie County. The name and vision for this spending plan is RENEW: Reinvest in Erie’s Neighborhoods and Employ our Workforce.
“The American Rescue Plan has given us a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in Erie County,” said Erie County Legislature Chair April N. M. Baskin. “As a proud resident of the City of Buffalo, I am extraordinarily grateful for the work my Congressman Brian Higgins did, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to make this a reality for so many who struggled these past 15 months against not only the public health crisis that was COVID-19 but the economic fallout from the necessary closing of many integral parts of our economy. As Chair of the legislature, I will ensure robust discussion at the Committee level and guarantee wellinformed suggestions from all members. We have a once in a generation opportunity with these funds, and I am confident that the plan put forward today will help Buffalo and Erie County throughout the 21st century.”
“I am most proud of my negotiations to include funding for the Erie County Division of Health Equity, which will create nine new jobs in the Department of Health for specialists to focus on the healthcare of minority and impoverished residents,” noted Baskin.
“The pandemic wounded our community, but I am determined to see us emerge stronger,” said Baskin. “The lives we lost are irreplaceable, but we can move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to invest in the projects and organizations that will make our community stronger. The needs of essential workers, low-income communities, small business, and vital infrastructure have all been prioritized, along with our most vibrant county assets like our historic parks, and much needed improvements to streets, sidewalks, and buildings housing cherished programming on the East and West side of Buffalo. Today is a day we can celebrate as the start of a plan to truly bring Buffalo and Erie County back while going further than ever before in the realm of investment into our infrastructure and cultural institutions.”
“I want to thank my colleague, Legislator Howard Johnson and the other members of the Majority Caucus for their ongoing fight to prioritize the needs of all residents of Erie County,” finished Baskin. “I look forward to next week’s joint press conference with Legislator Johnson highlighting the specific benefits this funding will provide to the residents of Buffalo.”