OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — The Omaha City Council makes a statement to the county and state so they know they’re in need of money for COVID-19 related expenses.
The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the resolution to make sure Douglas County and the State of Nebraska knows they need their share of money from the CARES Act to pay for things like extra cleaning and PPE.
Because Omaha has less than 500,000 people living within city limits they weren’t directly eligible for funds, yet it makes up 25% of the state’s population, and 80% of the county’s.
Nebraska can get up to $1.09 billion, and Douglas County is eligible for $160 million for Coronavirus related expenses.
“I was taught by my now deceased mother. ‘Christopher, if you don’t ask you can’t expect to receive,” said Omaha City Council President Chris Jerram. “And while there were initial concerns about what we were hearing as a council from the state and county level, I think it is important in a collegial way to make the friendly ask to highlight the important part the city plays in the state’s and the county’s health.”
Douglas County Commission Chairman Clare Duda told the city council he wants to make sure everyone on the county gets their fair share. He hopes they initially do a plan for any entity in the county that has incurred out of pocket costs.
Governor Pete Ricketts says he’s working with Mayor Jean Stothert to get Nebraska’s money to Omaha, but it’s unclear how much.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners wants to start public hearings on May 19 at their meeting.