Governor Noem announces $200 million in COVID-19 relief for cities & counties

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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On Monday, Governor Noem announced details of what’s called the Local Government COVID Recovery Fund.

It comes after months of uncertainty for cities and counties that have been struggling financially from the pandemic.

Noem announced $200 million dollars of the CARES funding the state received will be given to cities needing assistance.

“This is welcome news for these counties and cities that have been struggling financially to cover some of the increased costs that they’ve had,” said Governor Kristi Noem.

Sioux Falls will have access to up to $41.5 million dollars.

Minnehaha County will have up to $13 million & Lincoln County up to $4 million available to help cover specific costs related to the virus.

Noem said, ”Taking care of folks struggling with the virus, delivered care, some infrastructure that they’ve had to invest in, and also the public safety needs.”

Each entity will have to submit costs that will then be reviewed through a reimbursement process.

Mayor Paul TenHaken says the city has documented expenses since the start of the pandemic.

“We’ll use what we need and what we don’t we won’t, kind of in true South Dakota fashion,” said TenHaken. Remaining optimistic about the city's economic future he added, “We'll probably emerge a lot quicker than a lot of other states will because of our approach."

There is federal guidance on how this aid can be used, but there’s no leniency yet on using any of these dollars on revenue loss, which Noem has shared her concerns on to the federal government.

She said, “That would be incredibly helpful with that $1.25 billion if they would give us some flexibility to use it for revenue loss and I know our cities and counties would appreciate that as well.”

Noem says this is a long-term plan to support & grow the economy, “We’re going to start seeing the real impact of this virus in the coming days. We could feel it up to one to two years. So, as a state that’s what we’re preparing for. We’re preparing for a year’s long impact on our businesses, to our families, and to our state budget.”

Governor Noem will be visiting Rapid City Tuesday, followed by Huron and Aberdeen later in the week to talk about specifics and resources that are available.

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