"Families, individuals and businesses throughout Chandler are in need of support amid this pandemic. Governor Ducey has worked with our communities to ensure they get the help they need to overcome these difficulties,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in a news release from the governor's office. “Thank you to the governor for your support to Chandler communities and businesses and for your work to make these dollars readily available.”
Hartke said in a tweet May 27 that details about the funding would be released in the coming days.
The governor's office is providing nearly $600 million in coronavirus relief and recovery dollars for local Arizona governments and nonprofits, according to a news release. The plan includes $441 million in direct, flexible funding to local cities, towns and counties—like Chandler—that did not receive direct funding earlier this year from the federal government. The funds that cities like Chandler will receive come from the newly-established AZCares Fund, according to the governor's office.
The dollars will be allocated based on 2019 census data, the same methodology used by the U.S. Treasury when distributing federal CARES Act funding, according to the governor's office. Local governments may use their allocation to cover regular payroll costs of public health and public safety personnel, freeing up existing local budget capacity to be deployed elsewhere.
"The fund is designed to provide maximum flexibility, while minimizing red tape, so municipalities can determine how best to use the funds to meet their needs," according to the governor's office.
Additionally, local governments, tribal communities, schools and more will be eligible for expedited reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Administration for coronavirus-related expenses, including purchases of testing supplies, personal protective equipment and more, according to the governor's office.
The Arizona Express Pay Program, launched May 27, will streamline the application process for accessing public assistance from FEMA, according to the governor's office.
As part of the program, the governor’s office will provide $150 million to expedite FEMA reimbursement requests, which will help get needed relief dollars to local entities faster, according to the governor's office.
Eligible entities include local governments, tribal communities, state agencies, nonprofit hospitals, nonprofit long-term care facilities, skilled nursing and assisted living providers, school districts, charter school organizations and fire districts.
“Our office has met with mayors and county leaders to hear directly how COVID-19 is impacting their communities, and this plan delivers for them,” Gov. Ducey said in a news release. “It maximizes flexibility and prioritizes getting dollars quickly to where they’re needed most. From our cities and towns, to our hospitals, schools, tribal communities, nonprofits and more, we are all in this fight together. My thanks to all the local leaders stepping up to protect local health, restart our economy and make sure that Arizona returns stronger.”
Council Member Jeremy McClymonds said in a Facebook post that Chandler City Council would discuss the funding at its meeting June 11.
"This is GREAT NEWS for Chandler," McClymonds wrote. "Staff is already researching options, and we will be reaching out to the community as well for feedback."