What is a better use of surplus American Rescue Plan funds than to help the front-line nurses and administrators who have helped vaccinate Flagler County?
When the American Rescue Plan was approved by the United States Congress, it became an unexpected source of revenue for local governments. While the provisions are different for each entity, depending on the size of the local government, Beverly Beach (termed a “non-entitlement unit” or NEU) received 75% of its 2020 operating budget for use on COVID-related projects. The funds must be budgeted by the end of December 2024 and spent by the end of December 2026.
What is a better use of these funds than to help the front-line nurses and administrators who have helped vaccinate Flagler County (and Beverly Beach)? The scourge of COVID-19 has affected every demographic and created numerous hardships — economic and otherwise — and has changed the way we do business as a nation. While many in the electorate are cynical about government, alluding to both the desire for money and power, again and again we have heard stories of individuals whose only desire for entering government is to “give back to the community.” The media sensationalizes its coverage of those who abuse power, while diminishing coverage of the selfless.
On Jan. 3, 2022, the town of Beverly Beach had a unique opportunity: On the agenda was a donation of $10,000 to the Florida Department of Health-Flagler. The Town Commission voted 4-0 to support the donation. (The town’s motto has been “the little town with the good heart,” and we are not encumbered by the debt and obligations of larger municipalities.)
Mr. Robert Snyder, health officer, and his team at the health department have been on the frontlines of a two-year battle against COVID. If we can do anything at all to help minimize the casualties of that battle, these funds will have been put to good use.
Jim Ardell and Stephen Emmett
Editor's Note: Ardell is the town clerk of Beverly Beach, and Emmett is mayor.