With a Monday application deadline approaching, fewer than 60% of Minnesota’s townships have requested their share of the funds.
Jeff Krueger fears that, come Monday, hundreds of Minnesota townships will leave money on the table.
The state’s 1,781 townships qualify for roughly $100 per resident from the American Rescue Plan Act. That money could help them get more broadband service, improve roads or shift township accounting from ledger paper to laptops, said Krueger, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Townships.
But with a Monday application deadline fast approaching, fewer than 60% of Minnesota’s townships have requested their share of the funds.
Sounds like there’s some disagreement with what happens if towns don’t apply…
For more than 600 of the state’s townships — those with fewer than 200 residents — this is their first chance to directly receive federal assistance during the pandemic. They did not get dollars through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act last year.
But many of those same small towns could miss out again, despite being eligible this time around. If a community doesn’t apply to receive American Rescue Plan dollars, Krueger said, Treasury Department officials told him that Minnesota must redistribute that money to other small local government units.
Minnesota Management and Budget officials disagree, saying the state isn’t required to redistribute the dollars. They said they will wait to see how much money is not requested before deciding what to do with it.
“We have partnered with local government organizations to reach as many public officials as possible with presentations at local government meetings, direct mail, e-mail newsletters, and an open e-mail inbox for one-on-one conversations. We urge local governments to request their funds before the Monday deadline,” MMB spokeswoman Ellen Anderson said in a statement.