Key Peninsula senior services get $1 million

In its second round of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, the Pierce County Council has dedicated $15 million to support expansion of broadband services in the county’s underserved areas and $1 million for a senior services agency in the Key Peninsula area.

The funds for broadband will act as seed money and match grant requests to improve services to underserved areas. While the county doesn’t provide broadband service, it manages public rights-of-way and grants franchises to telecommunication providers.

Additional allocations include $8 million to help small businesses adapt to changing market conditions and get professional help with bookkeeping, tax and legal advice, graphic design and web-based services. Only businesses in unincorporated Pierce County are eligible for one-time grants that can be for $20,000 or less and require a match.

Meanwhile, the non-profit Mustard Seed Project is getting $1 million to support services to seniors in Key Peninsula. The services include transportation, information and referral, health and wellness, housing, and education.

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, Pierce County will receive nearly $175 million. Most of an initial allocation of $88 million from the act has been spent.