Wheeling getting $5.25 million in COVID-19 relief funds, more than originally thought

Wheeling will receive more than $5.25 million in new federal COVID-19 relief funds, more than originally anticipated.

"This is good news for the village of Wheeling," Finance Director Michael Kaplan recently told the village board.

The cash will come from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a federal stimulus and pandemic relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Wheeling officials initially expected to get about $4.8 million. The actual award amount could be even greater if any of the 1,200 eligible Illinois towns don't request payouts, Kaplan said.

The funding-request deadline is Sept. 30.

The Wheeling village board voted last week to accept the cash.

American Rescue Plan Act funding can be used to: cover public health expenses; reverse economic problems caused by the pandemic; pay for essential workers; replace public revenue lost because of the pandemic; or make investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Wheeling officials haven't yet said how they'll spend the money.

"We have some ideas but haven't come to any conclusions," Kaplan said.

Village staffers will continue discussing options and make recommendations to the board during a budget workshop in late October, he said.

Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will dole out the funds here in two stages. The first half is expected within 30 days, and the second will come about a year later.

The money must be spent on eligible expenses by Dec. 31, 2024, Kaplan said.

The payouts headed to other suburbs vary greatly. For example, Des Plaines will receive more than $7.7 million, Elgin is set to get $19.5 million, Schaumburg will receive about $10 million and Mount Prospect will get about $7 million.

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Wheeling officials are deciding how to spend $5.25 million in federal coronavirus relief funds they expect to receive over the next year through the American Rescue Plan. Daily Herald File Photo, 2016
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