By Jessica Mathews /

Hamburg Township is moving forward with the application filing process to eventually receive pandemic-related federal relief funds, although there is still no solid direction on what local governments can actually spend it on.

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night and approved a motion that the township opt-in for the American Rescue Plan Act funds and direct the director of accounting to submit all necessary information to the state and Department of Treasury as necessary.

Hamburg is expected to receive around $2.2 (m) million and the township has until July 27th to apply. It was stated the township will get some money in August presumably and then in October or November and have three years to spend it.

Clerk Mike Dolan said per the Federal Act, the state has the month of August to release the money to the locals, and then it has exactly 12 months to dispense the second part of the money. He said local governments have until December 31st of 2024 or three years and five months to decide how to spend the money through a plan. Dolan said for their expenditures, checks have to be cut by December of 2026.

Discussions are continuing on how to spend the funds and utility infrastructure was one possibility mentioned.

It was noted that there has yet to be any final determination of what the funds can be spent on issued by the Treasury Department. That’s been a point of frustration for many local governments as they’re being encouraged to go ahead and spend the funds but there hasn’t been any clear guidance about what qualifies and they could risk having to repay the money if something doesn’t qualify later.