Fulton County Commissioners about to ‘let it RIP!’

Khadijah Abdur-Rahman

Fulton County about to “let it RIP!”

Commissioners to vote on Rescue Implementation Plan ( RIP ) that targets $206 million in American Rescue Plan funds for grants to homeowners, small businesses, nonprofits and provides job training and premium payments for workers impacted by Coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, May 19, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners will vote on the final version of the County’s “Rescue Implementation Plan, also known as the “RIP” plan. If approved, at $206 million, it would be the largest relief plan in the County’s 168-year history.

The Resolution, enacting the Rescue Implementation Plan (RIP), was introduced two weeks ago by Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, with support from Democratic Commissioners Marvin Arrington, Natalie Hall of Atlanta and South Fulton, and Republican Lee Morris who represents Buckhead and Sandy Springs in North Fulton. Working together, it is a bipartisan plan!

The Board delayed a vote on the plan at its May 5 meeting, to give County staff time to confer with legal counsel to ensure all programs and expenses comply with federal rules and guidelines, and to give the county’s mayors a chance to weigh in. On May 7, at a joint mayors-commissioners meeting, several mayors agreed to collaborate with the County to save money on administering their and the County’s Rescue plans.

“I am happy that after a much debate, and discussions with citizens, and business owners, and the County’s legal team, that we have a Rescue Implementation Plan that the lawyers say gives our County management team the flexibility to make sure anything we do under this plan is completely compliant with the federal rules and guidelines,” said Commissioner Khadijah. “I know those who need assistance, including our 4,500 county employees, are ready for us to provide direct relief to those who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. To that I say: “let it RIP!”

The RIP plan calls for the County to allocate part of its $206 million in Rescue funds for:

· Home-mortgage, rental and utilities assistance for homeowners

· Grants to small businesses with less than 30 employees

· A premium payment up to $3,000 for all eligible County employees

· A jobs-training grants program to help pandemic-impacted unemployed workers

· Grants and loans to nonprofit groups in Fulton County

· Health Response, Operational Stability and Community Needs

To ensure fairness, all programs will be spread equally across all six commission districts in the county, from Northern Fulton, to Atlanta, to Southern Fulton communities, with a focus on those disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Citizens are encouraged to voice their support and can ask the commissioners to adopt and approve the plan, during the Commission meeting, Wednesday at 10 a.m. The in-person meeting is in Assembly Hall, at 141 Pryor Street, downtown. Capacity is limited and social distancing protocols will be in place; seating is based on first come-first served. You can also zoom into the meeting to speak or email your comments and the Clerk will read them into the record.

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