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Tompkins County Community Recovery Fund Grant Awards Announced

The Tompkins County Legislature has approved $6 million in one time grant funds to community organizations as part of its Community Recovery Fund program. Projects being funded through the program are aligned with the program priorities of addressing the immediate and continuing impacts of COVID-19; building long term capacity, sustainability, and resilience of our local communities, non-profits, and businesses; and addressing critical unmet community needs. The final list of awards is posted on the CRF website.  

One final project is yet to be fully approved, the Legislature must review the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) results upon their completion for Second Wind Cottages prior to voting to approve the project, totaling $510,000.

The awards follow a grant process that began in September of this year and considered over $32 million in funding requests from over 200 local organizations. A committee of the Tompkins County Legislature reviewed grant applications and prepared a resolution for the full body, which ultimately passed on December 20. The Legislature engaged a consulting team, MRB Group and WCP Consultants, to assist with program administration, several Legislators thanked consulting team staff for their efforts throughout the program so far.

Chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature Shawna Black stated, “I was in awe of the ideas and projects that came forward in the applications for this program. While I’m sorry that we will not be able to fund every applicant, I believe that the outcomes that we’ll see from the recipient projects will exceed our expectations. While our community has shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic, it’s clear that support is needed to aid in recovery – this program is making investments to help us achieve that.”

Legislator Dan Klein, who chaired the Community Recovery Grant committee of the Legislature stated, “This grant fund will invest significant resources in the areas of childcare and education, health and mental health care, housing and addressing homelessness, and workforce development, all of which will make a big impact on our community’s resilience and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I also want to thank my colleagues on the Legislature for contributing to this process. We had a transparent and thorough review of applicants and made what I believe to be solid recommendations for funding. It’s very difficult to say no to organizations doing good work, but I want to also thank everyone who applied – this was an important process for your Legislature to go through, helping us to further understand ongoing community needs ripe for investment.” 

The grants are being made from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds distributed to Tompkins County as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery efforts. A total of $19.8 million was distributed to Tompkins County and has been designated for infrastructure investments, Language Access programming, Reimagining Public Safety initiatives, direct community investments, and growing the County’s organizational capacity. In November, Legislature Chairwoman Shawna Black detailed the County’s use of ARPA funds as part of a National Association of Counties panel discussion, which can be viewed online.