Article Published by Aurora Beacon-News | View Article
Author: Steve Lord
Aurora is ending up with about $11 million in federal CARES Act money to help cover some budget holes created by the pandemic.
The City Council this week nailed down the final part of the equation by approving an intergovernmental agreement with Kane County to get $7.8 million from its CARES Act allotment.
“We’re very grateful they stepped up,” said Alex Alexandrou, Aurora’s chief management officer.
In addition to the money from Kane, Aurora also is ending up with $2.54 million from DuPage County and $480,000 from Will County, two of the other counties Aurora falls in. It received about $250,000 from Kendall County, although that funding came to Kendall from the state, because they did not get CARES Act money.
The federal CARES Act money was allocated across the county to help defray some of the costs of the coronavirus pandemic.
The $7.8 million from Kane was a little less than Aurora was hoping to get. The city and Kane County differed a bit on what Aurora might be eligible for, but in the end, Martin Lyons, Aurora’s chief financial officer, said he thinks Aurora got “every dime a municipality could get.”
“We’re all very grateful we got these funds,” Alexandrou said.
DuPage allocated another $1 million to Aurora to help Hesed House winterize a second part of its homeless shelter that became necessary because of the pandemic. DuPage also allocated some money to the Indian Prairie School District, as well as a rental assistance program, both of which are “for residents of Aurora,” Alexandrou said.
“Today, our staff went door to door to businesses to make sure there are those who could qualify for DuPage assistance,” he said.
For Aurora, the money will go toward paying down about a $43 million deficit in the city’s budget caused by the coronavirus. This week, Lyons said even before receipt of the CARES Act money, the city has saved about $9 million from austerity measures it has taken through what is essentially a hiring freeze at City Hall.