DeKalb council approves $242K in federal relief funds for reclamation district

Update comes after state announces $6M-plus in COVID-19 recovery funds for DeKalb County communities

DeKALB – DeKalb city officials gave the OK for staff to give more than $241,000 to the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District as its first use of American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government.

The DeKalb City Council voted, 6-0, to approve spending $241,644 of that money – which the city is referring to as Fund 110, according to city documents – to the water reclamation district. Second Ward Alderwoman Barb Larson and Fifth Ward Alderman Scott McAdams were absent from the meeting.

DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas said city officials arrived at that number after taking note of system revenue decreases associated with the “sharp decline” in Northern Illinois University services from 2019 to 2020. He said the total amount for NIU units billed was $678,599 in 2019 and $436,955 in 2020.

“So it’s very easy to know what the impact of COVID-19 was in terms of closing the dorms and the lack of student activity,” Nicklas said. " ... We feel this is fairly modest in terms of overall impacts of COVID-19 on this particular taxing body over the last year plus.”

There was no additional discussion among aldermen before the vote.

Nicklas’s comments come after he previously said during a June City Council meeting the city of DeKalb is potentially eligible for $10,422,954 from the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into federal law March 11.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s office announced a week ago that DeKalb County communities now are eligible for more than $6 million in COVID-19 relief funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Local leaders must apply for the funding through the state before the end of September and the first payments are expected to be made in August, according to state officials.

Of the eligible county communities, Sycamore is set to receive the most of these funds, $2,490,769.81, according to state documents. Sandwich is second, set to receive $1,008,434.15.

Genoa could get $711,939.83 in the funds through the state, according to state documents.

Cortland could get $599,242.08, Hinckley could get $278,685.63, Somonauk could get $254,351.62, Kirkland could get $235,047.54; Waterman could get $203,916.31; Maple Park could get $185,563.85, Kingston could get $158,918.78, Malta could get $157,423.39, Shabbona could get $125,068.67 and Lee could get $44,453.76.

That accounts for a total of $6,453,815.42 for DeKalb County communities.

DeKalb was not listed in the state documents as a community getting a share of the $742 million through the state, according to state documents. Nicklas previously confirmed the city is considered an entitlement city, meaning it gets money directly from the federal government and it doesn’t have to go through the state.

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.