Gov. Reynolds announces additional assistance through COVID-19 Local Government Relief Fund

Iowa News
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FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference in Johnston, Iowa. Reynolds’ administration is using $10 million in federal pandemic relief funds to pay the salaries of state police officers, who have played only a small role in Iowa’s virus response. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa communities will have access to a total of $17 million for expenses incurred due to COVID-19.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the reallocation of relief funds to local governments Thursday saying that the pandemic has changed how the government helps citizens, especially at the local level.

“These resources will provide County and City governments with additional assistance to provide essential services to Iowans as they continue to combat the pandemic,” Reynolds said. “I appreciate the unprecedented collaboration we have seen at the state, county, and city level which includes the incredible teams at Iowa State Association of Counties and the Iowa League of Cities.”

The governor’s office said about $4.7 million of the Local Government Relief Fund previously allocated to smaller cities is going to be reallocated to the county the cities reside in as a way to simplify the distribution. Officials add that since smaller cities already rely on their counties for other services, such as public health and safety. Counties don’t have to reapply for the additional funds, and the State will use the latest application from the Local Government Relief Fund to finalize the award.

Consistent with the U.S. Treasury Department Guidance, funds may only be used to cover costs that: 

  • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); 
  • Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020, for the government entity; 
  • Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020; and 
  • Have not been reimbursed or where reimbursement has not been requested from another source of funds including, but not limited to, other federal programs. 

Necessary Expenditures Include: 

  • Acquisition and Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment and Sanitizing Products 
  • Testing Equipment and Supplies (test kits) 
  • Ventilators 
  • Other Necessary COVID-19 Medical Supplies and Equipment  

Other Related Necessary Expenditures 

  • Temporary Isolation or Quarantine Sites 
  • Medical Transportation 
  • Expenses for Sanitizing Public Areas and other Public Facilities 
  • Temporary Emergency Staffing and overtime costs for staff that is substantially dedicated to the mitigation or response to the COVID-19 public health emergency 
  • Payroll costs for public health and public safety employees for services dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency 
  • As a matter of administrative convenience in light of the emergency nature of this program, you may presume that 50% payroll costs for public health employees and 50% of payroll costs for public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency 
  • Equipment used for the conduct of meetings by telephonic or electronic means 
  • Software or technology infrastructure to allow for local services to be provided while social distancing 
  • Additional costs associated with enhanced 211 capabilities 

In August 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds has allocated $125 million for reimbursements to local governments for direct expenses incurred in response to the COVID-19 emergency.  

A full breakdown of the allocation of funds can be found below.

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