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Commissioner Merceria Ludgood Participated in Communities in Action at The White House

Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2023 | COVID-19News and AnnouncementsPress Releasesfeatured news

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – District 1 Commissioner Merceria Ludgood participated in the Communities in Action: Building a Better Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi program at the White House on Sept. 14, 2023.

Through this event, invited elected officials and others working to improve communities in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas received briefings on Federal funding sources like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and others and then gave updates on how these funds are being used in their local areas.

Ludgood gave an update on collaborative local efforts related to these bills and acts. She discussed how Mobile County’s approximately $80 million ARPA allocation, awarded in 2021, is being used to target five goals:

  1. Provide direct response to the public health crisis.
  2. Strengthen local government operations.
  3. Improve public facilities and infrastructure.
  4. Provide aid to the most vulnerable populations.
  5. Increase economic recovery and growth efforts.

In her segment of the briefing, Ludgood spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic underscored community needs and how Mobile County Commission had invested some of its American Rescue Plan act funding in response. She covered capacity enhancements for Volunteer Fire Departments and Mobile County EMS, inpatient beds for mental health crises and recovery/treatment for veterans, as well as direct assistance, community revitalization, investments related to tourism and economic development, including access to capital for small businesses.

“While several funding streams were discussed, the amount of funding available through ARPA provides the Commission a once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly effect change,” said Ludgood. “The ARPA dollars are making a difference in Mobile County and I was honored to be able to share that story in Washington,” she added. 

Commissioners Merceria Ludgood, Connie Hudson and Randall Dueitt have until Dec. 31, 2024 to completely obligate (contractually bind) Mobile County’s ARPA allocation. The funds must be expended by Dec. 31, 2026. Through June 2023, Mobile County Commission has obligated approximately $50.5 million of its ARPA allocation, and of that, about $32 million has been expended. 

Other local leaders participating in the Sept. 14 Communities in Action event at the White House included:

  • Vivian Davis Figures, Alabama Senate District 33
  • Adline Clarke, Alabama House District 97
  • Barbara Drummond, Alabama House District 103
  • Dr. David Meola, Fanny and Bert Meisler associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of South Alabama
  • James Roberson, Regional Coordinator for the State Health Insurance Program (a program of the Area Agency on Aging at the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission)

 

 

 

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Above: District 1 Commissioner Merceria Ludgood and Environmental Services staff address local media at the conclusion