Mayor Andy Ezard says that the City of Jacksonville is hoping to receive state assistance money to recoup costs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ezard says that a meeting of department heads will take place Thursday to gather information to send to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to receive a portion of the $250 million set aside by the state for local units of government: “We had our initial discussion on Monday internally with Phil McCarty, Beth Hopkins, and Cheryl Cooper on getting with the department heads this Thursday to go over what they need to look for as far as their expenditures in the past 3-4 months for our COVID-19 response. This certainly isn’t a revenue replacement. This is just money for the time and efforts that our employees have put in towards the COVID-19 response, or line items [in the departmental budgets] that have been dissolved trying to find equipment and PPE, things of that nature. There is money available and we want to make sure that we dot our I’s and cross our T’s to get as much money as possible to help the city out.”
The funding is a portion of the state’s dollars received from the CARES Act passed by Congress back on March 27th. The Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Support Program through the state allows municipalities to cover medical expenses relating to public medical facilities and publicly available COVID-19 testing, payroll expenses, compliance measures for COVID-19, and any other critical service in response to the pandemic made by municipalities and units of local government.
Municipalities are not allowed to use the money for revenue shortfalls, insurance damages, non-essential employee payroll in the public sector, economic support expenses, reimbursement to financial donors, workplace bonuses, severance pay, legal settlements, or administrative costs.
Applications for the Local CURES Program are due to DCEO by this Friday with reimbursement beginning on August 1st.