City of Knoxville to request up to $170k in COVID relief funds

KNOXVILLE — The city of Knoxville will request up to $170,000 in funds from the Iowa COVID-19 Government Relief Fund.

On Monday, Knoxville City Council held a special session to approve a resolution that will allow the city to request reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses.

In August, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $125 million has been allocated in federal CARES Act funds for reimbursements to local governments for direct expenses incurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately $100 million will be used to reimburse cities and counties for COVID-19 expenses, with 60 percent going to cities and 40 percent going to counties based on population, using 2019 census data. The other $25 million will be used to cover the local government portion of the FEMA match through the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

City Manager Aaron Adams says the city can request up to $170,000 in funds, and the majority of those funds will be allocated for public safety personnel salaries. Funds will also be used for personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We have plenty of proper expenses to apply this towards, so I don’t think that’s going to be a real concern for us, but this is just one of those steps to make us eligible to request those funds,” says Adams.

According to Adams, the city’s COVID-19 expenses have predominantly been used towards PPE and other supplies, which have been funded by money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The city has the option to make multiple requests based on different timeframes, and the city is also entitled to an allocation of 25% of budget wages for public safety, according to Adams.

“Our initial request will not likely be the full $170,000, but by the end of the calendar year, I would say the chances are very high that we will request the full amount,” adds Adams.

According to the state’s COVID-19 website, funds may only be used to cover costs that were not accounted for in the city’s budget approved as of March 27, 2020; were incurred between March 1 through Dec. 30, 2020; and have not been reimbursed or where reimbursement has not been requested from another funding source, including other federal programs.

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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