How Schaumburg received $556,442 in COVID-19 relief funds
Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly joined Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other elected officials Thursday to encourage other suburbs to seek their fair share of COVID-19 relief funding before the end of the month.
Schaumburg received $556,442 to reimburse expenses such as personal protective equipment, technology allowing employees to work from home, plastic shielding to enable interactions with the public at village hall, Dailly said.
"The application process was simple, easy and quick," he added. "The county provided a helpline to assist with questions that we had and we took advantage of several webinars that provided information and insight that was beneficial to our application efforts."
Preckwinkle said Cook County received $429 million from the U.S. Treasury in late April through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding was made available to units of government with populations above 500,000, which could then distribute it to municipalities that fell below that threshold.
But at this point, only about 56 of Cook County's 130 municipalities have indicated they intend to apply for the funds, and only 30 have so far followed up.
"Schaumburg is a shining example of how this can work effectively and efficiently," Preckwinkle said.
She added that Cook County developed a formula for the distribution of the funding based on socioeconomic factors and public health needs that has won the praise of the National Association of Counties.
Any money not distributed by the end of the year will be reallocated for other national needs, Preckwinkle said. Cook County needs to hear from interested municipalities by Sept. 30.
Democratic state Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg said many towns are experiencing staffing reductions due to the pandemic, but failing to apply for the assistance shifts the burden to residents through either reduced services or higher taxes.
Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison of Elk Grove Village said he would continue to reach out to the communities of his 15th District -- of which Schaumburg is one -- to encourage them to apply.
"I know how desperately municipalities like Schaumburg need this funding to keep serving our shared constituents," Morrison said.
Dailly added that getting help for COVID-related expenses is even more important in light of the sales tax revenue losses suburbs like his are seeing.
Schaumburg has eliminated nearly $23 million from its budget this year and is still experiencing a loss of about $500,000 a month from normal sales tax earnings, Dailly said.