Commissioner Harvie, Non-profit official Represent Bucks County at White House
Commissioner Chair Bob Harvie headed to Washington, D.C., last week to represent Bucks County during the White House’s “Communities in Action: Building a Better Pennsylvania” event.
The event highlighted the Biden-Harris Administration’s impact in our community and throughout Pennsylvania with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“I am honored to be invited to the White House to discuss the ways the Biden-Harris administration has helped Bucks Countians and people all across Pennsylvania, through their unprecedented investments in infrastructure, the environment and economic recovery” Commissioner Harvie said.
Harvie and United Way of Bucks County Impact Director for Financial Stability P.J. O’Brien went to the White House last week to talk about the exciting and important work being done in our communities thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act and other legislation
At a time when it was most needed, Bucks County has been the beneficiary of over $122 million in ARPA funds that have gone to key projects that directly and immediately address the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Harvie continued, “Through President Biden’s leadership, we are putting people back to work, giving small businesses a helping hand, keeping families in their homes, launching critical infrastructure projects, and providing aid to our most vulnerable through human service grants.”
Some highlights of how Bucks County has, and continues to use the $122 million in ARPA funds include:
Bucks Emergency Rental Assistance (BERA) Program – $14.8 million (spent $8.7 million)
• Distributed millions in assistance to more than 2,600 households using federal funds to help residents pay rent, utilities, arears, and avoid eviction.
Business grants – $4.8 million
• Provided financial assistance to 785 businesses across the county that were struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic and shutdowns.
Human Services Grants – $5 million
• Shored up key elements of mental health system, enhanced community services
• $390,000 to No Longer Bound to build educational programming at the Martha Miller Education Center in Bristol Township, with a focus on developing interpersonal skills and healing from trauma and adversity.
• $460,000 to St. Luke’s Penn Foundation to fund programs for kids with mental health issues and family history of substance abuse.
• $197,000 to Bucks County Opportunity Council’s food pantry, which aims to meet rising demand by increasing output 20 percent over two years.
Bucks United Flood Recovery Program – $1.5 million
• Helped residents affected by summer 2021 flooding in Croydon (non-Ida related flooding) with renovation and mold remediation.
Emergency Operations Center expansion – $300K for tech upgrades
• Modernizing emergency management hub to improve response to future disasters, pandemics and other incidents.
Co-responders Program – $240,000
• Expanded cutting edge program pairing police and social workers into additional Lower Bucks communities after success of pilot in Bensalem.
Bucks County Community College Veterans Program – $200,000
• BCCC Returning Veteran’s Adult Education Support Program
One possible future allocation of ARPA funds is the complete overhaul of the Lower Bucks Government Services Center. Planning for the project is well underway, with the county already working with an architect chosen by the Board of Commissioners.
The planned facility would greatly increase access to county government services for residents in some of the county’s most densely populated areas, where in-person services have long been limited.
“When the new Lower Bucks Government Service Center opens,” said Harvie, “We’ll be able to provide expanded services to residents more efficiently and conveniently.”