Iowa City council to discuss using ARPA funding to give 319 people left out of raffle

A Johnson County woman who did not receive money when the county passed out American Rescue Plan funding is hoping she's not left behind.
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - 319 people in Johnson County who weren’t picked to receive American Rescue Plan Act funding are hoping the city council would use some of the extra funding the city got back to help them out.

Johnson County, Iowa City, and Coralville set aside nearly $3 million to raffle off for people who didn’t receive federal stimulus checks or those who were low-income and impacted by the pandemic. Johnson County first distributed the $2 million it set aside to Johnson County residents. Iowa City then distributed its funding to Iowa City residents; once all Iowa city residents were paid out, they had nearly $700,000 extra.

“It’s been so difficult, we’ve really been counting on that money,” Nancy Raudales.

Raudales received an email that she qualified for the program, but later learned she wasn’t picked for the raffle. Despite Iowa City not using all the allocated funds, and Raudales having an Iowa City address, she lives in an unincorporated part of the city.

“I have a baby on the way, and I need that money to help with bottles, diapers, and clothes for the baby,” Raudales said.

All hope wasn’t lost after the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Committee voted unanimously to recommend the city council use the extra funding to help the 319 excluded people. The city council is holding a work session Tuesday to discuss potentially helping these people. On Saturday, The Iowa Catholic Worker House spoke to members of the city council on the matter.

The councilmembers won’t act during the work session meeting, but people like Raudales said this was a step to making things right for those left out.

“I think it’s important that the city does give the payments to the workers that were left out,” Raudales said. “We’re not a lot; there’s only a few.”

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