Mayors ask congress to include aid for cities in stimulus bill

Local News

Mayors around the Quad Cities in Illinois are asking for help from the federal government in the next stimulus bill.

The HEROES act that passed the House of Representatives would provide more than a trillion dollars to state and local governments, but the Senate version called the HEALS act would not come close to that.

“We really really need to look at how we’re going to fund our municipalities going forward,” Savanna mayor Chris Lain said. “We’re going to need some help.”

That’s why Savanna mayor Chris Lain made his case on a conference call with Illinois senator Dick Durbin, that aid to cities needed to be included into the trillion dollar HEALS act. While 2020’s budget may be set for Savanna, the stimulus bill could be a huge factor in 2021 spending.

“We had plans to hire another police officer..that’s been put on the backburner. We haven’t had to lay anyone off from that department and that of course would be a last resort,” Lain said.

Lain says that the city’s payroll will be hardest hit without help, and could affect jobs in 2021.

“That’s funded through our sales tax and our corporate taxes and gaming revenue. All of that is down,” Lain said. “And was shut down for quite a while, if we don’t get some help there’s going to be drastic measures taken by communities.”

While rock island is still building budgets for 2021, Mayor Mike Thoms says that without aid, construction and maintenance projects could be moved back.

“Whether it’s fewer streets being repaired, whether it’s some vehicles not being replaced, we have some of them that are rusting, maintenance is getting too high,” Thoms said. “We are looking at doing some energy efficient improvements to the city, replacing some air conditioners, boilers, different things throughout the city to improve our energy efficiency, we’ll have to re-evaluate that.”

The new stimulus package could come up for a vote this week.

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