116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved $5.6 million for the first projects funded by pandemic relief money, including $1 million in payments to residents previously excluded from pandemic relief funds.
Thursday’s vote allocated money to 16 projects budgeted in current 2022 fiscal year. Most of the projects will receive additional funds but those will require additional votes.
Johnson County is getting $29.3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that it will direct to 37 projects, with spending spread through the 2027 fiscal year.
“I appreciate all the work that has gone into getting us to this point, so thank you to the staff, thank you to my fellow supervisors,” Board Chair Pat Heiden said before the unanimous vote. “I think that we are in a good place.”
The projects approved Thursday included $1 million in payments to county residents who were ineligible for previous pandemic relief programs, such as undocumented immigrants. Another $1 million in payments will be allocated in fiscal year 2023.
Program details and who will be eligible should be established by the end of the year, with a goal of getting the program going in early 2022.
The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition has been organizing and advocating for the payments since April. Members of coalition — who asked for $20 million in direct cash assistance — said they want to work with Johnson County to distribute the funds.
Three projects approved Thursday included one-time allocations: $3.4 million to replace the Kent Park shower house and restroom facility; $75,000 for a mobile health clinic van for Johnson County Public Health; and $50,000 for a study to determine broadband internet needs.
Other projects had first installments of funding approved. The Sheriff’s Office GPS monitoring program for domestic violence, sexual assault and forcible felony offenders received just over $140,000 of its expected $1.1 million allocation.
First installments of funding were approved for expanding the eviction diversion program, hiring an additional disease prevention specialist and increasing the Johnson County SEATS service, among other projects.
Approving the fiscal year 2023 ARPA budget — $6.2 million — is expected to happen early next year, Heiden said.
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