Rescue act

Vernon Hills could use American Rescue Act funds to offset part of lost $ 8 million in revenue

Vernon Hills’ share of the American Rescue Plan Act funds will be $ 3.6 million, but how it will be used remains to be determined.

The funding is part of the $ 1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 relief law enacted in March.

Part of these funds will go to communities of less than 50,000 inhabitants. Illinois has received $ 742 million for this purpose and will administer the program through the Department of Trade and Economic Opportunities.

The funds will be paid in two equal installments this year and next.

Village director Kevin Timony said guidelines for the use of funds were being finalized. Once clarified, the village council will determine how to spend the money.

“Our hunch is that in the next 30 to 60 days a lot of cities are going to start asking the same question, so we’ll have more clarity on how we can use these funds,” said Timony.

Depending on the village, the funds can be used in four general categories: supporting the COVID-19 response; replace lost income; stabilize local economies by providing assistance to households or businesses; and address the systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the “uneven impact” of the pandemic.

Timony said the village has identified around $ 8 million in lost revenue based on calculations provided by the US Department of the Treasury.

“At this point, we believe that if we choose it later, we could apply for full funding for lost earnings,” he added.

Meanwhile, the district of Vernon Hills Park has asked the village for $ 1.6 million to make up for lost income and rehire staff to reopen and operate at full capacity.

“Our high revenue facilities and programs have been closed for an extended period,” said General Manager Jeff Fougerousse.

“We have five full-time employees who are still being laid off.”

He hopes that representatives of the park council can meet with the village to discuss the request.

Park districts are considered “special use” districts and do not receive direct allocations from the Relief Act. However, state and / or local governments can transfer funds to them, Timony said.

Earlier this year, 21 park districts led by Waukegan and Zion successfully lobbied Lake County for $ 1.6 million in federal CARES Act relief funding, which was divided into districts by population.

Lake County will receive $ 136 million in American Rescue Act funding. Designations have not been determined, but in a preliminary review, funds for local entities are among the five proposed focus areas.