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Federal Rescue Plan Dollars for Local Governments

The White House

Rock Island is looking forward to receiving a lot of help from the American Rescue Plan. The bill just signed by the president sets aside millions of dollars for local governments.

Mayor Mike Thoms says he's been told Rock Island will receive more than 27 million dollars, but not all of the rules have been written yet on how the money can and cannot be spent.

"They've given a couple of guidelines on what not to and what for. And two of them they said you can't do is pay off bonds or pay pensions, so we know we can't do those. One thing we know we can do is infrastructure."

He thinks one likely target for some of this money is roads.

"We have not made any determination or any decisions on where it's going to go or what we're going to do, but that's an area we'll definitely look very hard at is accelerating the repair of the roads in Rock Island. Unfortunately we have a number of those that need not just patching but replacing."

He also wants to know if the city can spend some of this money on payroll, because a number of key jobs have been left vacant by retirements and resignations - in the police department, human resources, and accounting.

Thoms says half of the money allocated to local governments is supposed to be received with two months, with the other half due within a year. And it has to be spent by 2024.

Moline is due to receive up to 20 million dollars, but only 2.5 million is expected in East Moline. The city administrator says it's because of its smaller size and because it doesn't participate in a federal program used to allocate these dollars.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.