Last week Governor Evers announced a $200 million program for local leaders entitled “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants.” The program intends to address Wisconsin communities’ urgent and unique situations surrounding COVID-19 recovery.

Funded by federal CARES Act dollars, these grants are in addition to the $1 billion in state-wide COVID-19 related aid that includes free test kits, personal protective equipment, contact tracing, public testing sites and other resources. Routes to Recovery grants will be allocated by the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Of the $200 million, $10 million will be directed to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, and the remainder will be allocated to all Wisconsin counties, cities, villages and towns.

“Our local government partners are on the front lines of supporting their communities through the COVID-19 health crisis and into economic recovery,” said Governor Evers. “The Route to Recovery Grants will provide financial flexibility to communities because they know what they need and how to best address the unique recovery needs of their friends, families, and neighbors.”

Routes to Recovery grants will reimburse Wisconsin municipalities for unplanned COVID-19 related expenses that meet the following criteria:

  • Emergency operations activities, including those related to public health, emergency services, and public safety response
  • Purchases of personal protective equipment
  • Cleaning/sanitizing supplies and services, including those related to elections administration
  • Temporary isolation housing for infected or at-risk individuals
  • Testing and contact tracing costs above those covered by existing State programs
  • FMLA and sick leave for public health and safety employees to take COVID-19 precautions
  • Meeting local match requirements for expenses submitted for reimbursement by FEMA, to the extent allowed by federal law

A local municipality’s Routes to Recovery grant amount is determined by its population, but the program’s priority is providing each Wisconsin local governing body with at least $5,000, regardless of population size.

More information regarding these grants, including allocation amounts, is available here.