Small Town Arizona Mayors Call For Direct Federal Relief
The CARES Act opened up federal funds for many U.S. cities, but only those with populations of more than 500,000 could apply. As Congress prepares another coronavirus relief package, mayors from small Arizona towns are calling for access to funding.
The mayors of Flagstaff, Tolleson, Superior and Douglas say waiting for federal relief to be dispersed to states, then to smaller municipalities creates a lag time their citizens can’t afford.
Mila Besich, mayor of Superior, said big cities may have more coronavirus cases, but says her city is facing budget shortfalls.
“They need that money, they have larger populations, but in our smaller communities, we have just the same amount of need, but that money does not necessarily trickle down," Besich said.
Sen. Martha McSally has said she doesn't want what she calls “mismanaged” local governments to use federal money as a “cash cow.” This group of mayors say McSally’s stance threatens critical public services in their communities.
McSally responded with a statement saying she has asked Governor Doug Ducey to make sure funds are distributed to small towns from the state quickly.