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Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers proposed last week spending nearly $80 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act money on a variety of local recovery efforts.

The spending plan was submitted to the Snohomish County Council, which will consider Somers' proposal before voting on how to allocate the first of two federal payments of $79.8 million that was received in May 2021. The second injection of money is expected in May 2022.

“Snohomish County has been responding to COVID-19 longer than any other local jurisdiction in the country, and our proposed spending plan for federal ARPA funds will allow us to save lives, prevent illness, support economic recovery, and provide support to those who are struggling as a result of the pandemic,” Somers said in a statement. “We know that workers and businesses have struggled. Rates of substance abuse and mental health crises have spiked. Many families are concerned about keeping their home and putting food on the table. Our Snohomish County Recovers plan will address these and other critical issues.”

Somers proposes using the money, in part, to help businesses reopen their doors, assist people in developing skills to match them to available jobs, and to boost county programs already in progress.

The proposal includes $1.5 million for the Snohomish Health District and Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19; $27.5 million for community support, such as enhanced services to seniors, educational readiness, child care for essential workers, food security, behavioral health and housing stability; $28.2 million for economic and workforce recovery; and $22.5 million for restoring county operations.

“We came together as a community to find a path forward through this challenging and unprecedented time,” Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright said in a statement. “As we move towards recovery, we must continue to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of our community, and help our businesses and workforce get back to what they do best.”

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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