BY DANIEL ROBERTSON
The Nassau County Legislature on Monday unanimously passed a $62.9 million proposal put forth by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran to aid the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
This economic package includes funds for local businesses, reconstruction of Nassau’s water infrastructure, youth programs and revitalizing main street and downtown areas.
“I want to thank Majority Leader Schumer and our federal representatives for securing these funds for Nassau, the Legislature for swiftly taking up this legislation, and members of my Economic Advisory Council for helping the County identify needs and meet them,” Curran said in a statement Monday. “As we recover from the pandemic, Nassau County is ready to come back stronger than ever.”
A total of $30 million will be equally distributed to the Boost Nassau Main Street Small Business Grant Program, the Boost Nassau Small Business Loan Program and for workforce development.
The two Boost Nassau programs will use the funds to support and promote a variety local businesses and downtown shopping districts. An additional $2.5 million will be used for technical assistance along with miscellaneous staffing supplies and advertisements for the Boost Nassau programs, officials said.
“We are open for business, and this is a comprehensive effort to assist Nassau’s recovery,” Nassau County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Richard Kessel said. “We thank County Executive Curran for her leadership.”
Officials said the bill will also allocate $3 million to a new Septic System Replacement Fund which will reimburse property and small-business owners who replace their aging cesspools. An additional $6 million will go toward a multi-year regional groundwater program.
Another $10 million will be used to aid those who suffer from food insecurity, domestic violence, child abuse or have trouble with employment and adequate child care. Additionally, $3.4 million will be used to deal with growing mental health problems in the county.
Youth programs will get $1.4 million, or a 20 percent increase, in contracts with nonprofit agencies that provide a variety of services to youth including educational and academic support, after-school programs, counseling, youth employment and recreational programs.
Programs for the aging will expand their offices. Funding will go to nonprofit contractors serving seniors in health, counseling, legal services, home care, transportation, nutrition and recreation.
The remainder of the allocated funds is posted on Nassau County’s website, showing where the money is going.
Legislators said they hope the economic relief package will allow the people of Nassau County to pick up the pieces and move forward together.
County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said he believes the package will benefit people.
“As our region continues to recover from the pandemic, Nassau County took a key step today toward delivering crucial support for initiatives that will strengthen our small businesses, protect the environment, and bolster important health and social services programs that benefit Nassau County’s veterans, seniors and youth,” he said.