Local government leaders throughout Wisconsin will receive some economic relief through a $200 million aid program Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday.
The "Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants" program seeks to provide local governments $200 million to address recovery needs created by the COVID-19 crisis. The effort is funded by federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars and will be administered by the state Department of Administration.
“Our local government partners are on the front lines of supporting their communities through the COVID-19 health crisis and into economic recovery,” Evers said in a press release. “The Route to Recovery Grants will provide financial flexibility to communities because they know what they need and how to best address the unique recovery needs of their friends, families and neighbors.”
Wisconsin Tribal Nations will receive $10 million of the $200 million grant with the remainder allocated to each Wisconsin county, city, village and town to bolster local recovery efforts such as testing, contact tracing, sanitization supplies, temporary isolation housing and purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE).
In addition, Evers said he hopes some of the money will go toward increased safety measures at election sites, especially in light of a projected second wave of the virus in the fall.
The amount of grant money allocated to municipalities will be based on an area’s population, but will not be less than $5,000.
“Though some Wisconsin governments have already received direct payments of recovery money, we want to make sure that every community and local government has the resources they need to combat COVID-19 and keep the people of Wisconsin safe,” Evers said.
The Routes to Recovery Grants funding is in addition to the $1 billion in resources that Evers announced as an initial statewide response to the pandemic, which funded the distribution of free testing supplies, PPE, contact tracing and community testing sites across the state.
“So far, we’ve been able to invest $1 billion in resources to support communities throughout Wisconsin through our statewide COVID-19 response efforts,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “But we know that communities are not ‘one size fits all.’ The Routes to Recovery Grants will provide local governments with an additional resource to address the challenges they are seeing on the ground.”
Evers urged residents to continue doing their part to help others in the community by wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance in public.
“Everyone can play a part in keeping our community safe,” Evers said. “One of the most important things you can do to help others is to wear a mask or other face covering in public.”
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