Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act fund, the federal government gave Gov. Doug Ducey $1.9 billion to allocate locally.
Ducey announced May 28 the creation of the AZCares Fund to filter $440 million of CARES money to cities and towns. Of the total, nearly $60 million is headed to the Glendale-Peoria corridor.
Around $29 million of that will land in Glendale. Peoria is to receive just over $20 million.
“As we continue to work toward a strong and healthy recovery, I am grateful for Gov. Ducey’s work to streamline the AZCares funding and we look forward to getting these dollars back into our community as quickly as possible,” Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat said.
The AZCares money coming to Glendale is in addition to nearly $3 million in funding to serve homeless and low-income populations.
The funds come just as cities are putting their annual budgets together. But there are strict stipulations on how the money can be used—only for public health and public safety.
According to information on the AZCares Fund, “The direct allocations must be used on payroll expenses related to an entity’s public health and public safety expenses from March 1 through Dec. 30.”
Glendale spokesman Jay Crandall confirmed the city will use $29 million from the AZCares Fund “for payroll expenses for public safety.”
Peoria said the funds will help offset some of the challenges the city faced due to the pandemic.
“Our community has developed real, pragmatic solutions to the new problems that this pandemic created, and I have been amazed at how responsive and adaptive our city, our first responders and our small businesses have been,” Carlat said.
The state’s largest cities, including Phoenix and Mesa, previously received direct CARES funding from the federal government. With less stipulations on how the money can be used, those cities used some of the funding for business and resident assistance.
The money has not been sent, as cities are required to submit applications for the grant money.
The money from the AZCares Fund is to be distributed based on population from 2019 U.S. Census figures (the current census will not be finalized until next year).
The population figure for Glendale used for the funding is 252,381. Peoria’s population is listed as 175,961 in the AZCares Fund documents.
Avondale (population 87,931) will get slightly more than $10 million, Goodyear just under $10 million.
Buckeye’s funding will be $9.1 million while Litchfield Park will get about $750,000 from the AZCares Fund.