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North Las Vegas coronavirus aid will help with rent, utilities

Updated July 15, 2020 - 8:50 pm

Emergency coronavirus funding is finally reaching North Las Vegas.

The North Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday unanimously accepted $23.8 million in CARES Act funds given by Clark County. The city will give out $15.5 million of it to residents and business owners to help with rent, utility bills, daycare and broadband access. The motion gives City Manager Ryann Juden the authority to distribute the money.

However, not all the funds will be immediately available to use. The county is holding $5 million in case there is a regional emergency, Juden said in an interview. That will be allocated to North Las Vegas in October if no such emergency arises.

The rest of the money, $3.3 million, will cover hard costs associated with the coronavirus, such as overtime for police and fire, personal protective equipment and deep cleaning of facilities. Signs for social distancing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines alone cost the city $15,000, Juden said.

“I think it’s amazing how they’re being distributed over several key pillars of stabilizing our community including housing, small businesses, family and children as well as health and safety,” said Councilman Scott Black. “I think the investment we’re making in stabilizing our community now will position us in such a way that will enable our residents and our businesses to recover at a faster rate.”

Funds for small business, rents

The plan calls for $6.5 million to be allocated to the city’s small business program and would cover reimbursements for costs related to payroll, utilities, operations and costs incurred to comply with social distancing directives, according to Juden. That program provides up to $15,000 per business with fewer than 40 employees.

The city will also allocate $5 million to rent and mortgage assistance. Applicants living in North Las Vegas will be able to receive up to $6,000 or five months of rent, whichever is less, according to Juden’s presentation to the council. And $2 million will go toward assistance with water bills, with both residents and businesses eligible to apply.

Daycare assistance also will be rolled out. As part of that, $320,000 will be directed to subsidize daycare at parks, libraries and City Hall facilities. Another million will go toward broadband assistance specifically for families with school-aged children, according to the presentation.

Nonprofits also will be able to apply for aid. The city will allocate $680,000 for a grant program to help nonprofits struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

More funds to come

City officials are hopeful they will be able to obtain additional funding from the state and that the county will be reimbursed for its payment to the city of North Las Vegas.

“The plan is the county is advancing these dollars because these residents need them right now, but we fully intend to work together to get an allocation like the other cities,” Juden said following the meeting. “We don’t expect them to treat us any different than other communities. It appears our legislators understand.”

If the city receives the funding it is hoping for, officials will be able to double the amount of money allocated to its coronavirus aid programs.

Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown has been a strong proponent for the state to give North Las Vegas additional CARES Act funding.

“Our motto is we just don’t quit,” Goynes-Brown said during the meeting. “We are going to remain very, very vocal, so that we reach the stage that our voice is heard. … We’re not stopping until we get what’s due to us.”

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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