Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury, Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Illinois Representative Kelly Burke and other local officials to announce the distribution of $680,838.16 to the Village of Oak Lawn to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The event was the second in a series of planned public appearances to urge all eligible jurisdictions to take the necessary steps to receive vital aid from Cook County.
“Funding made available through our process has allowed Oak Lawn to continue to provide critical services during the pandemic to our residents,” said President Preckwinkle. “It has helped fill the financial holes that were left when we acted swiftly to protect our first responders in the line of duty. It also assisted residents at five local nursing homes through distribution of PPE. Without question, these efforts have saved numerous lives in Oak Lawn.”
President Preckwinkle also stressed the need for local governments to apply for over $51 million of coronavirus relief by a September 30 deadline. Cook County received approximately $429 million from the U.S. Treasury from the CARES Act. Under the Act, units of local government with a population exceeding 500,000 are eligible to receive this funding and may distribute these funds to municipalities under this threshold for direct expenses related to coronavirus. Oak Lawn was one of the first suburban municipalities to apply and receive aid through the County process.
“The application process was simple, and Cook County offered assistance every step of the way,” said Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury. “This financial relief will go a long way in ensuring that we have the support needed to get through the challenges that face our community. I would encourage others to visit the County’s website, take advantage of the technical support being offered and get their paperwork in before September 30th.”
To date, Cook County has distributed approximately $1.5 million to Schaumburg, Oak Lawn and Elk Grove Village. While Cook County has received 61 other applications which are in the process of being reviewed to ensure all expenses are eligible to be federal reimbursed, it is still waiting for responses from other eligible municipalities. Nearly $50 million remains available to eligible local governments.
“We will be sure to keep local governments and leadership updated with information regarding this process as we approach the September 30th deadline,” Preckwinkle said. “We have all been through an immensely difficult time. I know the potential these dollars hold to help our communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic strain. I look forward to working with all of our municipalities to ensure they can access these resources and we can rebuild as One Cook County.”