MORRISON – The Whiteside County Board will distribute slightly more than $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to 59 of the 117 entities that applied for assistance because there were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nineteen of the 59 were allotted the maximum grant, $53,350. All that qualified, which included businesses, nonprofits, landlords and even one individual, were granted some or all of their request.
The entities must pay for their expenses up front, then submit proof of their expenditures to the board to be reimbursed. Costs must be incurred and obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and all work must be paid for and completed by Dec. 31, 2026, according to the federal guidelines.
The county hired the accounting firm Wipfli to weed through the applications and determine eligibility, and the county finance committee set the grant amounts, which were approved by the board at its meeting Tuesday.
To be eligible, each entity had to meet U.S. Treasury and county guidelines, including that it must be located in Whiteside County or directly benefit county residents; have fewer than 500 employees; be in good standing and not in default with the IRS, state or county; and not be in bankruptcy.
Whiteside County received $10.7 million in COVID-19 relief money from the American Rescue Plan Act. In addition to the $2 million grant program, it will spend $3 million to help bring broadband to underserved rural areas, and will use the remaining $5 million for yet-to-be-determined county projects such as building upgrades and infrastructure work.
The recipients, the grant and each grant’s intended use, where provided:
• Whiteside County Fair/Karl Kovarik, $53,250, grandstand renovations
• Blackhawk Lanes/Ching Mei Wong, $53,250, facility upgrades
• Candlelight Inn/Matt Prescott, $53,250, test kitchen
• Triple P BBQ/Jen Schwindenhammer, $53,250, past due invoices
• Steel River Systems/Corey Gabler, $53,250, SRS health care initiative
• Coz-E Corner/Todd Mickley, $53,250, to cover losses in 2020
• Deer Valley Banquets/Holly Davis, $53,250, loan repayment
• Jim’s Arrow Service/Brandon Eads, $53,250, to expand
• Whiteside County Healthier Communities Partnership/Beth Fiorini, $53,250, response to childhood trauma caused by the pandemic