Communities across the Stateline Area will see a major influx of pandemic-related funding in the latest round of aid through the American Rescue Plan, as municipalities look to continue to rebound.
The U.S. Department of Treasury is in the process of refining the estimates for allocations from the state and local fiscal relief funds, but estimates for each municipality have been released by the National League of Cities and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform
Beloit and Janesville will receive the largest portion of aid in Rock County, with Beloit to see an estimated $16.29 million and Janesville to receive $12.14 million.
Beloit will receive the 12th largest federal aid award out of cities in Wisconsin and Janesville will receive the 17th most aid, according to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Beloit Finance Director Eric Miller called the aid “once in a lifetime funds that can make a significant impact on our community and the entire region.
“They are very important,” Miller said. “We asked our representatives to help local governments on revenue shortfalls and they responded. Prior stimulus or grant funds focused on expense reimbursement not revenue replacement, so these funds will help fill that gap.”
Miller stressed that the city had yet to determine a use for the funds.
“A transparent and public process will determine the most appropriate use to make a long-lasting impact,” Miller added.
Beloit’s allocations will come in May and then one year after the first distribution, Miller confirmed.
The following are additional allocations for other Rock County municipalities: $764,114 for the Town of Beloit; $211,540 for the Village of Clinton; $549,905 for Edgerton; and $537,7746 for Evansville.
Local governmental aid may be used to respond to pandemic-related emergencies and the following economic fallout. Aid can be provided to small businesses and various industries, or replacing lost revenue from the pandemic.
Funds can also be used on major infrastructure projects that could help cities replace aging networks of sewers, water lines and even update telecommunications capabilities.
Overall, Wisconsin’s 1,906 cities, towns and villages will receive nearly $1.2 billion.
“Our CARES dollars made all the difference in our state this past year, including supporting businesses across our state like the business we’re standing in today,” Evers said. “That’s why I’m excited to be able to announce we’re going to be investing $2.5 billion from our American Rescue Plan funds into our state’s economic recovery and making sure we can bounce back from COVID-19 and better than we were before this pandemic hit. We can’t afford for the Legislature to play politics with our funds under the American Rescue Plan—we’re going to get folks support as quickly as we can.”
Evers’ plan to invest $2.5 billion for families, workers, small businesses and communities. Highlights of the plan include $600 million in small business aid; $500 million towards pandemic response; $200 million for infrastructure improvements statewide.
Across the state line in Illinois, Rockford is expected to see $54.15 million. Border communities like South Beloit (941,928), Roscoe ($1.3 million) and Rockton ($919,319). Loves Park is set to receive $2.89 million and Machesney Park is slated to receive $2.81 million.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker touted the funding Illinois would receive as a way to further reimagine the state’s educational system and bolster school districts.
“Thanks in part to the American Rescue Plan, we have an unparalleled opportunity to revitalize learning and teaching for students and educators, an opportunity to address learning loss, and make the years ahead so much better,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker also signaled interest in using aid to erase the $3.2 billion in debt the state incurred in 2020 through the Municipal Liquidity Facility from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Funds are not able to be used for funding pensions or subsidizing state tax cuts. All funds are required to be spent by Dec. 31, 2024. Disbursements of the aid are expected to begin later this spring and continue in 2022.