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Cornelius News

Windfall: Town Board eyes how to spend $9.6 million in federal stimulus funds

Photo by Jason Benavides

Feb. 9. By Dave Vieser. Cornelius will be eligible to receive $9.6 million from the American Rescue Fund according to town Manager Andrew Grant, who unveiled the good news at the Town Board meeting Feb. 7. All told, the plan will deliver some $1.9 trillion across the country to support responses to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

While the Cornelius share of $9.6 million may seem like a small piece of the pie, it would be a windfall.

‘Supplant expenses’


“What we are recommending is to use the federal funds to supplant expenses by the town for fire and police salaries. Then we can apply the funds we would have used for other vital needs,” Grant said.

There’s already competition for the money. Willie Jones, with the Smithville Community Coalition, has asked for $6.8 million from Cornelius’ hoped for share of American Rescue Fund dollars.

Decisions ahead

Those vital needs could include a town match for NCDOT road projects, stream restoration projects and projects such as sidewalks linked to affordable housing development.“


The next step will be for the town to ascertain community needs through public meetings and hearings, and to be sure the required procedures to receive the federal funds are carefully followed. All funds received by the town must be spent by 2026.

Deep dive

The availability of the funds will make for a busy budget preparation season this spring, as the commissioners will need to make decisions on expenditures and projects for the annual town budget as well as the Rescue Fund. “There will be two separate processes,” Grant said, “but they will certainly overlap at times too.”

The $1.9 trillion stimulus package set aside $350 billion exclusively for local governments.


9 Responses to “Windfall: Town Board eyes how to spend $9.6 million in federal stimulus funds”

  1. Please support the Smithville Revitalization Plan and the coalition’s funding request.

    Posted by Andrea Tobis | February 9, 2022, 2:38 pm
  2. I would suggest the repaving of Brinkley Street between Church Street & Beard Street.

    This street is in really bad shape!

    Posted by John Blakely | February 9, 2022, 3:15 pm
  3. I also recommend some of these funds be allocated to the Smithville revitalization plan.

    Posted by John Blakely | February 9, 2022, 3:21 pm
  4. Why not use federal Wuhan virus funds for a much needed tax cut. Notice the town management said not one word about a tax cut. Never could understand why Mr. Grant needs a six figure assistant. The town board should consider a zero based budgeting system.

    The new town board led by Dave Gilroy should closely exam the budgets of all departments looking for needed cuts. Thankfully the mayor serves largely as a figurehead in town leadership, and should have a minimum role in this effort..

    Posted by Rick Barton | February 10, 2022, 3:12 pm
  5. Pickleball courts!! Cornelius has no dedicated pickleball courts. This fast-growing sport is fun for all ages and we need the facility for it sooner than the current plan of 2032.

    Posted by Dave Mancuso | February 10, 2022, 3:40 pm
  6. Rick Barton snarky , ignorant comments were only allowed in 5th grade. Their should be a public pool constructed along with the Smithville Revitalization.

    Posted by Deanna Pelucio | February 14, 2022, 7:33 am
  7. Please replace the light bulbs on Catawba, at least 10 are out , thanks

    Posted by Mary zima | February 14, 2022, 9:32 am

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