This week, Senator Jon Tester said four counties in Western Montana will share $33 million in additional American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding, passed earlier this year by the U.S. Congress. It includes $8.5 million for Ravalli County. The money comes from the ARP Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Relief Fund. Missoula County will get the largest amount - $23,230,898, then Ravalli County with $8,508,802, Mineral County with $854,066 and Granite County with $656,331. Statewide, the allocation is over $207 million for the counties.

Recently Montana Sen. Tester announced that the City of Missoula is going to receive over $14 million in local funding That Missoula money is part of a $136 million fund for Montana cities.

The money can be used to reduce shortfalls during the pandemic and can also fund local emergency services, law enforcement and firefighters, public health costs and helping counties with costs associated with reopening schools. Tester's announcement said the funds are expected within 30 days and will pass through the state directly to the counties.

Tester said in the news release: "Montana's county governments have been on the frontlines of this pandemic from day one, and I've heard from county commissioners across the state that budgets are stretched thin. I'm proud to have secured this targeted relief that will help make sure that critical local services remain available while providing relief to Montana taxpayers." Tester said this is in addition to the $1.25 billion Montana received last year from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act (CARES).

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