MINEOLA, NY - Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman announced the release of “Guiding Principles: Making Smart Investments with Stimulus Funding,” a report focused on smart options for Nassau County to apply funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. With the stimulus infusing trillions of federal and state dollars into local governments to combat the lingering economic effects of COVID-19 shutdowns, the report highlights the need for governments to approach the moment responsibly, with an eye toward strategic long-term sustainability.
“We all know that smart investments can make transformative progress and ensure that structural gaps are narrowed and closed in our budgets and our communities,” said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. “There are a variety of ways in which local governments can make smart decisions to improve municipal finances and we wanted to lay a marker that offered perspective to this conversation. An economic recovery that helps people will lead to a more sustainable recovery for our County government's finances.”
The report highlights the direct impact of COVID-19 fiscal recovery funds:
- $385 million allocated to Nassau County
- $774.2 million for non-entitlement units - towns and villages within Nassau County are expected to receive recovery funds from the non-entitlement unit tranche
- $12.7 billion in direct assistance to the New York State government
- $350 billion in total aid to state and local governments
The report also highlights “smart tips” that will ensure that Nassau County can seize the moment, including:
1. Investing Money to Reduce Operating Costs – Highlighting the need to invest in Nassau’s deferred infrastructure investments.
2. Making Overdue Investments in Technology Infrastructure – Highlighting the need to invest in and utilize technology more and more.
3. Making Investments in Our Residents – Highlighting the need to provide relief for the middle class as well as increasing access to child care.
Finally, the report highlights Best Practices around the country to embrace opportunity and limit risk, including:
1. Providing accountability by sharing data on the use and impact of federal funds;
2. Investing in workforce development;
3. Investing in closing equity gaps; and
4. Supporting temporary and targeted efforts that address hardships of the pandemic and focus on areas not supported by federal and state programs.
“It is incumbent upon governments to approach this rare moment responsibly, with an eye toward strategic, long-term sustainability,” concluded Schnirman. “The funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act provides a unique opportunity for state and local governments to make strategic investments in long-lived assets, enhance financial stability, and cover temporary operating shortfalls until economic conditions and operations normalize.”
The report is available on the Comptroller’s Office Open Nassau Transparency Hub at https://opennassau.nassaucountyny.gov/stories/s/jzcw-jeub