MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced the launch of the “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants” program, a $200 million effort aimed at helping local leaders address some of their most urgent and unique COVID-19 recovery needs. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Routes to Recovery Grants will be allocated to every Wisconsin county, city, village, town and federally recognized tribe.
The effort is funded by $200 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars and will be administered by the DOA. Of the $200 million, $10 million will be allocated to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, with the remaining funds being distributed to every Wisconsin county, city, village and town.
“Our local government partners are on the frontlines of supporting their communities through the COVID-19 health crisis and into economic recovery,” said Gov. Evers. “The Route to Recovery Grants will provide financial flexibility to communities because they know what they need and how to best address the unique recovery needs of their friends, families, and neighbors.”
Routes to Recovery Grants for Wisconsin counties, cities, villages and towns will provide reimbursements for unbudgeted expenditures incurred this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the following categories:
• Emergency operations activities, including those related to public health, emergency services, and public safety response
• Purchases of personal protective equipment
• Cleaning/sanitizing supplies and services, including those related to elections administration
• Temporary isolation housing for infected or at-risk individuals
• Testing and contact tracing costs above those covered by existing State programs
• FMLA and sick leave for public health and safety employees to take COVID-19 precautions
• Meeting local match requirements for expenses submitted for reimbursement by FEMA, to the extent allowed by federal law
The Routes to Recovery Grants are in addition to the $1 billion in resources Gov. Evers previously announced that will fund a state-wide response to COVID-19, including the distribution of free testing supplies, PPE, contact tracing, community testing sites, and other valuable resources for communities across the state.
“So far, we’ve been able to invest $1 billion in resources to support communities throughout Wisconsin through our statewide COVID-19 response efforts,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “But, we know that communities are not ‘one size fits all.’ The Routes to Recovery Grants will provide local governments with an additional resource to address the challenges they are seeing on the ground.”
The determination of a local government’s Routes to Recovery Grant amount is a formula based on the jurisdiction’s population, as well as the priority of providing Wisconsin’s units of local government no less than $5,000, regardless of size of the population.