The Skagit County Board of Commissioners has approved a spending plan for about $2.6 million of the funding the county received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Funding has been approved for a number of community health goals, according to a news release from the county.

The county expects a total of $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law in March.

Some of first $2.6 million will be used to create a county medical reserve corps, which would give county Public Health a pool of medical workers to call on to assist with pandemic response and vaccinations.

Money will also go to buy a van to assist in mobile vaccination clinics, to fund additional motel vouchers, for mental health services for the homeless population, for hiring a community health worker, and for services for students and seniors who struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

“(The American Rescue Plan Act) has allowed us to tackle some critical priorities quickly and more completely than we would have otherwise,” Commissioner Lisa Janicki said in the release. “Supporting Public Health in ongoing pandemic response is the top priority, and I’m happy we were able to move forward with these expenditures.”

Plans for the remaining funding will be determined as needs arise through bi-weekly workshops with the commissioners.

Public Health, alongside the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County and the community-led Population Health Trust, is working to identify the greatest funding needs, the release states.

Public input on spending priorities will be accepted through July 1, according to the release. Submit comments to commissioners@co.skagit.wa.us, using subject line ATTN: ARPA Spending, or by calling 360-416-1300.

According to the act, local governments have until 2024 to use the money.

Cities, towns and other public services in Skagit County have also been allocated funding, For instance, Mount Vernon will receive about $9.6 million, Burlington will get about $2 million and Anacortes will get $2.9 million.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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