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Ector County Commissioners address funding from the American Rescue Plan Act

Ector County Commissioners met on Tuesday to discuss where to allocate money from the act.

ODESSA, Texas — Hard decisions to make and millions of dollars to give out. That is what Ector County Commissioners face as they decide what to do with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Commissioners met on Tuesday to discuss this topic among other items on the agenda. 

Greg Simmons, commissioner for precinct two, told NewsWest 9 different community leaders showed up to the meeting to get considered for funding from the rescue plan.

"Primarily, this morning we had eight different groups that came and basically made us aware that have needs that that money could be used for legally," Simmons said. "Both local hospitals locally made requests for staff and things like that. We have water districts within the county that are trying to expand water to new homes that need water."

The American Rescue Plan Act and the COVID-19 pandemic were the main topics during today's meeting

"The health department is a big factor," Simmons said. "We want to make sure they get a chunk of that money and make sure they are carried forward through the COVID crisis."

CEO for Medical Center Hospital, Russell Tippin, addressed the commissioners and told them about the recent surge in cases and the needs of the hospital.

Superintendent for Ector County ISD, Scott Muri, was also there. He asked for funding to help kids in the county connect to the internet.

Simmons said decisions on what to do with the money need time, especially since there are so many different needs.

"There will be more than $32 million in requests, so what happens is we try to prioritize," Simmons said. "Not necessarily give a little bit to everybody. We want to make an impact with the funds that we have. We want to prioritize and make sure the most people are affected positively with the money."

For now, Commissioner Simmons said there is no set date to distribute the funds, especially since requests are still being taken into consideration.

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