DWC Hosts County Administrator Jason Brown

Indian River County received nearly $60 million in federal Covid relief funds, according to County Administrator Jason Brown. Brown, speaking to members of the Democratic Women’s Club of IRC at their recent luncheon, outlined major developments since the pandemic began.

Under the 2020 CARES Act, the county received almost $28 million. Of that total, IRC allocated $2.7 million for 273 small businesses grants. Brown said the emphasis was on restaurants, hair salons, gyms and similar highly impacted operations.

The United Way received $2.4 million for community support. “They were a great partner for us,” Brown said.

The county also contributed almost $1.8 million to the Treasure Coast Food Bank and $1 million to the local school district. In addition, IRC provided $2 million for housing assistance. A new Eviction Mediation Program was introduced in an effort to prevent evictions.

Through the American Rescue Plan of 2021, the county acquired roughly $31 million. Those funds are being used for water plant upgrades, the septic to sewer program, expansion of broadband in rural areas, more small business development, nonprofit assistance, rehabbing of homes, and road resurfacing.

“The story with Covid is there were underlying problems that were exacerbated,” Brown said.

Other recent non-covid-related IRC projects include the Oyster Bar Marsh conservation area, derelict vessel removal, beach renourishment, and Jones Pier, Brown said.