What should Rock Island do with $20 million in pandemic relief?

Local News

City leaders are taking steps to figure it out

Rock Island city leaders are taking steps to figure out what to do with millions of dollars from the federal government.

The city is receiving $20 million in pandemic relief.

City council held a special meeting last night to get some ideas.

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law March 11 and provided nearly $2 trillion in relief for those adversely affected by the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the Rock Island City Council held a special meeting to begin addressing how to use the funds.

“Seems that we need to come together. We’re really kind of all over the place and we need to give staff a place to focus on then we can start moving forward,” said Randy Tweet, Rock Island City Manager.

Friendship Manor CEO Ted Pappas’ focus is on the seniors his organization cares for every day and the prospect that the industry could lose billions due to the pandemic

“We’re projected to lose $30 billion by June 30, 2021, because of what the pandemic has done in our industry by causing our industry to really shut down” Pappas said.

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms says his office continues to review ways the funds can be put to good use. However, he wants to make sure the money is being spent in the right way.

“You’ve got a lot of people talking, but you have to have enough expertise to harness that and summarize that. That becomes a bit of a challenge at times,” Thoms said.

Aldermen Mark Poulous of the 6th Ward says coming up with a plan after the unprecedented pandemic can be challenging, but assistance will be available.

“If you come in there with a plan, which i think we all want to get that plan done, then the money is there. This pandemic is not like a normal disaster” Poulous said.

Pappas says he hopes the city coucnil understood his purpose in coming to the chamber to convey just how important the funding is to the residents at Friendship Manor.

“These Cares Act funds are used to cover testing and cover PPE and to cover lost revenue and all the things that this horrible virus has done to communities” Pappas said.

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