F.O.R. Maricopa food bank
People line up to receive food at F.O.R. Maricopa during a recent distribution. Photo by Kyle Norby

With nearly $6 million incoming from the AZ Cares Fund, Maricopa City Council wants to hear from residents about how to spend it.

On Tuesday, the council wants input from the community on how to allocate funding to support local businesses impacted economically by the coronavirus public health crisis as well as non-profits providing food and aid to those who need it.

Arizona received $1.86 billion in federal CARES Act monies to help in the recovery from the pandemic. On Wednesday, the governor announced the state will distribute $441 million to counties, cities and towns. Maricopa’s share is $5.98 million.

Ducey’s announcement may have been prompted, in part, by a lawsuit that was ready to be filed by Pinal County supervisors to force the state to distribute the funding.

Maricopa can spend the monies on regular payroll costs of public safety personnel, “freeing up existing local budget capacity to be deployed elsewhere covering revenue shortfalls and increased spending due to the pandemic,” the city said in a news release. Council will be taking a look at using some of the allocation to support local businesses and nonprofits.

Council would like residents to share their thoughts on the biggest needs for impacted  businesses and nonprofits providing food and aid, and their recommendation for addressing those needs.

The community input session, the last item on the agenda for the council’s regular Tuesday meeting, is expected to begin about 7:30 p.m. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

With social distancing guidelines in place, the meeting will only be open to the public on a limited basis. Those wishing to provide input are encouraged to submit their comments to Vanessa.Bueras@maricopa-az.gov by 6 p.m. Tuesday to be read into the record. Residents can also comment via the city’s YouTube Channel live during the meeting available here.

You can watch the meeting live online or on the City’s YouTube Channel.

For residents unable to access the internet, speakers will be allowed into Council Chambers one at a time to share input at the meeting.

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