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Charlotte has allocated almost all of its COVID-19 relief funds

A “Coming Soon” sign of the expected co-op grocery store is planted off Clanton Road and West Boulevard.
Elvis Menayese
Charlotte City Council approved $1.5 million to develop a grocery store to address the lack of healthy food in one of the city’s low-income Corridors of Opportunity.

Charlotte has $9.5 million left to allocate from the American Rescue Act COVID-19 relief funds. Over the past two years, the city has assigned $132 million to various projects.

This is how Charlotte City Council has decided to allocate its $141.6 from rescue plan COVID-19 funds.
City of Charlotte
City of Charlotte
This is how Charlotte city council has decided to allocate its $141.6 from rescue plan COVID funds.

A third of the money is set aside for housing priorities like grants recently approved for the West Side Community Land Trust and Heal Charlotte to support housing security and stability for low-income residents. The rest is spread evenly between workforce development, city operations, and what the city calls “community vitality.”

When Charlotte uses federal and state money to pay for projects, that often comes as a reimbursement. But the rescue act funds came in two payments of $70.8 million in cash, with the stipulation that they be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.

That means the city has a lot of cash on hand that’s piling up interest until it’s spent. City staff told City Council members this week the interest has now accumulated to $4.6 million, and Charlotte can spend that as it pleases.

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Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.