How much suburbs will get in American Rescue Plan funds

  • President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, Thursday in the Oval Office of the White House.

    President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, Thursday in the Oval Office of the White House. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/12/2021 10:59 AM

The American Rescue Plan signed Thursday by President Joe Biden is set to send more than $13.5 billion to governments across Illinois, including millions of dollars to the suburbs.

About $1.6 billion will go to Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will county governments combined, according to a breakdown of allocations from the U.S. House Budget Committee. That's part of $2.5 billion being divided among Illinois' 102 counties, with allocations largely determined by population.

 

Another $320.5 million will be divided among 94 suburbs, with amounts ranging from $38 million in Aurora to $20,632 in Old Mill Creek. That's part of $3.4 billion being shared among 1,298 municipalities across the state, though almost $2 billion of that is going to Chicago.

More than $7.5 billion will go into the state's coffers alone.

"The act will provide state and local governments with fiscal support to replace revenue lost due to the pandemic," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. "My administration will ensure (funding) is spent wisely by paying down loans borrowed from the Federal Reserve to cover costs incurred and remaining bills as a result of COVID-19."

Though specific spending directives haven't been issued to government recipients yet, suburban leaders anticipate the rules will mirror the requirements of the CARES Act, which became law nearly a year ago at the onset of the pandemic.

"We haven't really locked into anything yet," Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger said. "Last year, we identified areas of focus such as public services to help people with mortgage, rent or utility payments, as well as initiatives that targeted the homeless, domestic violence victims and mental health. And I would imagine there will be some measure of economic development outreach to assist small businesses with grants of some type."

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Naperville is set to receive almost $13.4 million in funding. While it's the fifth most populated municipality in Illinois, Naperville's share of Rescue Plan funds is not in the top 20 among Illinois towns.

"We get it," Krieger said. "We always want to get the most for our residents, but in this case we understand the intent of the program was to give more assistance to communities that need it, those communities with higher percentages of low- to moderate-income households."

Elgin is set to receive more than $21.6 million. Officials have yet to earmark those funds, which are expected to be delivered piecemeal over several months. Governments have several years to spend the federal dollars they receive through the measure.

In Hoffman Estates, "we took $2.7 million out of reserves this year and nearly $4 million last year, so I would expect we would replenish those funds," Mayor William McLeod said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Instead of layoffs or furloughs during the pandemic, Hoffman Estates dipped into reserves to keep employees paid and cover tax revenue declines. The village is in line to receive more than $6 million in Rescue Plan funding.

"A pandemic is the worst time to cut services for people who need them desperately," McLeod said. "And we have good people who are well-trained. We wanted to keep them because we assumed this will end at some point and it's hard to replace people who know what they're doing."

Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Schaumburg and Wheaton also will get more than $6 million each, according to the budget committee report.

As for county government, Cook is in line for almost $1 billion in Rescue Plan funds. DuPage, Lake, Kane and Will counties each are targeted to receive more than $100 million. McHenry County's allocation is almost $59.7 million.

Omitted from the report are Illinois' specialized taxing bodies like fire protection districts, libraries and park districts. Those agencies were left out of CARES Act funding as well.

"A lot of us called legislators after that and some counties carved out some of the federal dollars they received," Itasca Park District Director Maryfran Leno said. "We received $10,000 from DuPage County then. We're working with an alliance in hopes of getting better funding this time."

Illinois has thousands of special taxing bodies that aren't covered by Rescue Plan funding. There is some expectation that municipalities and counties will disburse some of those dollars to agencies that also serve their residents.

"I wouldn't say we're worried about that necessarily," Hoffman Estates Village Manager Eric Palm said. "We haven't budgeted this revenue, so we'll wait and see."

• Daily Herald staff writer Russell Lissau contributed to this report.

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