On May 27, 2020, Governor Ducey announced that Arizona will be providing $441 million in coronavirus relief and recovery dollars for local Arizona governments as part the CARES Act approved by Congress. Under the CARES Act, $1.9 billion in aid was earmarked by Congress to the State of Arizona for distributing to cities and counties under 500,000 in population. The Governor’s plan includes $441 million in direct, flexible funding to local cities, towns and counties that did not receive direct funding earlier this year from the federal government.
Fountain Hills’ share of this relief funding is $2.89 million and will be used for public safety costs. “After weeks of municipalities and counties requesting that he do so, Governor Ducey has decided to release $441 million of the $1.9 billion intended by Congress for local relief,” said Mayor Ginny Dickey. “Allocating the financial assistance in essentially a block grant format will allow towns such as Fountain Hills to determine the best use of the funding for their own communities,” stated Mayor Dickey. Mayor Dickey indicated that she will continue to advocate for further distribution of the remaining CARES Act funding, in addition to supporting new bipartisan efforts being considered by Congress in the coming weeks.
The Town of Fountain Hills is approaching the next fiscal year with extreme caution not yet knowing the full financial impact of the pandemic on the town. “This relief funding is welcome and greatly appreciated. We are carefully monitoring town revenues which are projected to decline over the next several months,” stated Town Manager Grady Miller. “The $2.89 million in financial assistance will primarily be utilized to bridge the town’s revenue gap,” stated Miller.
At the Town Council meeting on June 16, 2020, Economic Development Director James Smith will announce a number of coronavirus relief measures designed to help small businesses. “Many of the measures include authorizing the waiver of penalties and late fees for user fees paid by businesses, granting an extension of premises to restaurants to maximize their dining areas while social distancing is required, and extending business licenses by six or more months at no cost to businesses,” said Smith. “The town will also be requesting approval of a small business assistance program to help businesses impacted by the pandemic,” explained Smith.
Residents are encouraged to visit the town’s website at http://www.fh.az.gov to obtain the latest news and information about the town’s response to COVID-19.