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Here's who's set to get $4.6M in COVID relief from City Council

Outside of City Hall, large building with steps leading to the entrance, a couple of palm trees out in the front
Sky Lebron
Jacksonville City Hall.

Jacksonville City Council will vote Tuesday on distributing another $4.6 million in federal COVID relief money to local organizations, after each council member was handed hundreds of thousands of dollars to distribute as they pleased.

Each council member was allocated $242,105 to either allocate to one organization or split between two. The planned recipient list ranges from small nonprofits to churches to a for-profit newspaper company based near Tallahassee.

The latest round of money, part of the American Rescue Plan, comes in addition to the $1.9 million allocated to organizations in mid-September. That round was similarly distributed, where each council member was given $100,000 to split between one to four organizations.

Michael Boylan is the only council member to allocate dollars from this round of funding to a for-profit company, Havana Publishing Group. The 37 other grants are all to nonprofit organizations.

Havana Publishing Group owns local newspaper Mandarin NewsLine, which regularly features Q&A columns with Michael Boylan and other public officials, is set to receive more than $121,000 in federal dollars.

Boylan said he chose the for-profit entity because of its local impact.

“There was only a single criteria that they offered: to be able to demonstrate significant impact by COVID situation," said Boylan, a former CEO of WJCT. "I overlaid on top of that my own criteria, that being the impact those organizations had on the constituents that I serve here in the Mandarin area.”