Linn County and Cedar Rapids announce joint application process for millions in federal pandemic relief

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:20 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County and Cedar Rapids announced they will use the same application to allocate part of the more than $60 million received, collectively, from the federal government.

Those dollars come from the last COVID-19 stimulus package Democrats passed in March called the American Rescue Plan Act. The large number of federal dollars gives Linn County and the city of Cedar Rapids an opportunity to work together while the relationship of the two has become a campaign issue with an election less about one week away.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart and Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker said the decision will streamline the application process for applicants. Hart said the city and county work together more than people may think, but added that they can always increase collaboration.

Hart said the difference between city and county elected officials, such as working full-time and partisanship, creates problems in collaboration.

“I think that has sometimes created some rifts,” Hart said. “This is an opportunity for us to step past those past rifts and have another great opportunity to work together.”

Linda Langston, who is a former supervisor on the county board, said the county and city working together has been an issue for a long time. She said the American Rescue Package Act funds provide an opportunity for the two to work together more closely.

“People have understood that they have to do better at this, and all of a sudden a large pot of money on the table gives a lot of incentive,” Langston said.

Walker said he thinks the narrative over the city and county’s relationship is over-exaggerated. He said governments at different levels disagree all the time.

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