Money from the federal CARES Act, $562.5 million, is slated to go to local municipalities in Alaska to help with the COVID-19 public health crisis. That’s great news for local governments that are reeling from the unexpected blow to tax revenues caused by the slowdown of the economy.
But there is confusion about how, exactly, that money may be spent, leaving some cities concerned that they’ll face penalties or even have to return money in the future if they spend it incorrectly.
Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander testified to the House Finance Committee on Thursday.
“I do think that it’s critical that these funds are distributed to the municipalities and the boroughs across the state,” Ostrander said. “That local control is critical. Communities know where that need is within their community, so I think that is very important.”