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Guest Column

Nassau County needs to allocate Covid-19 funds to help community organizations

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As part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Nassau County will receive almost $400 million to be used for Covid-19 relief. 

Recently, I joined with my colleagues in the Legislative Majority calling on the county to establish a separate relief fund specifically targeted to help veteran, fraternal and other community organizations that own buildings and are struggling due to the pandemic.

Since the onset of the coronavirus, these organizations have not been eligible for any kind of federal assistance or loan programs. As a result, many are facing major difficulties in paying rent, property taxes, utility bills and other necessary maintenance on their venues due to a lack of income because the pandemic has forced cancellation of events. 

While some of the restrictions are beginning to ease, fraternal organizations are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels and there’s no indication that will happen any time soon. Things are so dire for some that they might be forced to sell their buildings due to the loss in revenue they have suffered.

The Legislature’s plan for a community organization Covid-19 relief fund would be in two parts. The first would reimburse these organizations for the money they have lost over the last year when they could not be open for business. The second part would be the implementation of ongoing relief grants, which would be provided to these organizations until the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic are fully lifted. 

Veterans and fraternal halls are part of the fabric of our community. As a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, I know first-hand the important role these facilities serve.  The current administration will have some important decisions to make concerning where and how to best spend the millions for Covid-19 relief they will receive. Helping these organizations should be among the top priorities.

I will continue my efforts to advocate for our proposed relief fund that will assist these types of venues as they await the time when they will be allowed to fully use their buildings for events and other activities.

 

 

Gaylor is a county legislator for Legislative District 6, which comprises Malverne, Lynbrook, North Lynbrook, Valley Stream and portions of Rockville Centre, Hewlett, Franklin Square and Woodmere.