Iowa cities, counties, receive CARES Act funds to help with COVID-19

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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $125 million in federal dollars will be allocated to Iowa’s municipalities and counties to help them through the economic challenges of COVID-19.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Reynolds said $100 million of CARES Act funds will go to cities and counties based on their populations using 2019 U.S. Census data. Sixty percent of the funds will be allocated to cities, while 40% will go to counties.

The remaining $25 million will be used for match requirements by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and any remaining dollars will go back to cities and counties.

“There’s a cost to addressing the coronavirus,” Reynolds said.

The money can be used by local governments for COVID-19 related costs, such as medical supplies, payroll for healthcare workers and technology costs for providing remote services.

Storm Lake Mayor Mike Porsch said he expects the city’s budget will be more constrained this year, due to reductions in sales and hotel-motel taxes.

Storm Lake was one of the Iowa cities hit hardest by COVID-19, due to an outbreak of the virus at the Tyson Food plant.

So far, Porsch said the city has created a $100,000 fund to help businesses hurt by COVID-19 and they also offered free lodging for medical workers who were quarantining from their families.

“We had struggles, but I feel like the community really stepped up to help us through the situation,” Porsch said.

Linh Ta
Reporter Linh Ta comes to Iowa Capital Dispatch from the Des Moines Register, where she covered trending news, public safety and the suburbs. Most recently, she has covered retail business and followed both national and local trends to provide insight about the issues that matter the most to Iowans. Beyond traditional journalism, Ta has worked as a speech coach with the Des Moines Storytellers Project with the goal of sharing the diverse perspectives of Iowans from all walks of life. She is the 2019 winner of the Young Iowa Journalist Award and the winner of an Iowa Broadcast News Award. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @linhmaita.