How Tucson will spend $95 million from CARES Act

Posted at 1:20 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 16:20:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Don't think of it as free money.

"That $95 million dollars comes with many, many, many strings attached as to how we can use that money."

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said the $95 million dollars was given under strict conditions.

"It has to be COVID-related expenses, which we have."

First and foremost, Mayor Romero said, the money will go toward expenses that help essential employees and healthcare workers.

"We've ordered PPEs, we've ordered laptops and new IT equipment because we had to send people to work from home."

Mayor Romero said another major expense will go toward keeping a vulnerable population in the city protected from infection.

"We're also putting our homeless community and vulnerable residents in hotels so that there's not a lot of congregation."

Reliant on sales tax, Mayor Romero said the city's income has taken a hit and one condition of the stimulus fund does prohibit municipal governments from using it to replace revenue.

Not a problem, for now, according to Mayor Romero.

"Mayor and Council put aside money for a rainy day...around $120 million dollars, we have some savings but we can't continue living off of our savings."

The Mayor said while other cities are making budget cuts and furloughs, Tucson has not had to have that discussion yet.