BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid is coming to Kern County as part of the latest federal stimulus package.
An estimated $312 million is being allocated to the Golden Empire as part of the American Rescue Plan, with every city set to get a piece of the pie, including $94 million for Bakersfield and $14 million for Delano.
Kern County itself is receiving the bulk of the funding at nearly $175 million. The county plans to split the funding into four categories: $28.2 million focusing on things such as homeless and behavioral health support and funding for Kern County libraries, $25.8 million to help support essential workers, $80 million to make up for the government’s lost revenue and $40 million for waste, wastewater and broadband infrastructure.
Included in that last category is $10 million to install free wi-fi at all of the county’s parks.
“It certainly takes that pressure off the county, shores up the county’s ability to provide those services…so the ability to do that now and provide services going forward is really critical,” said Chief Operating Officer James Zervis.
None of the funds are allowed to go to pensions and all of the funds must be spent by 2026.