Gov. Tony Evers (Photo by A. David Dahmer)

Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday the launch of the “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants” program, a $200 million effort aimed at helping local leaders address some of their most urgent and unique COVID-19 recovery needs.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the effort is funded by $200 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars and will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Of the $200 million, $10 million will be allocated to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, with the remaining funds being distributed to every Wisconsin county, city, village and town.

“Our local government partners are on the frontlines of supporting their communities through the COVID-19 health crisis and into economic recovery,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “The Route to Recovery Grants will provide financial flexibility to communities because they know what they need and how to best address the unique recovery needs of their friends, families, and neighbors.”

Routes to Recovery Grants for Wisconsin counties, cities, villages and towns will provide reimbursements for unbudgeted expenditures incurred this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic like emergency operations activities, purchases of personal protective equipment, cleaning/sanitizing supplies and services, temporary isolation housing and more.

The Routes to Recovery Grants are in addition to the $1 billion in resources Gov. Evers previously announced that will fund a state-wide response to COVID-19, including the distribution of free testing supplies, PPE, contact tracing, community testing sites, and other valuable resources for communities across the state.