City of Oxford urging Congress for direct funding for COVID-19 relief

Published 9:10 am Saturday, May 9, 2020

The City of Oxford is joining other municipalities in Mississippi in asking the United States Congress for relief in fighting COVID-19.

During their meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen adopted a new resolution, requesting funds for all municipalities in Mississippi to help combat the effect COVID-19 has had on their cities.

When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) went into law, it created the Coronavirus relief fund. Cities with populations of less than 500,000 are not able to receive funding from it. No city in Mississippi, including Jackson – which only has a population of just over 160,000 – were able to receive funds from the CARES Act.

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The CARES Act also did not require state governments share their portion of the revenue received from the fund.

“The Board of Aldermen of Oxford, Mississippi, hereby respectfully requests that the United States Congress support direct federal funding to all municipalities in Mississippi to help us fight COVID-19 and to alleviate budget shortfall in order to protect local citizens from the effects of the coronavirus,” the resolution read.

Last month, the Board voted to furlough 135 city employees and suspend select city services due to the potential $3 million in revenue that might be lost this year due to COVID-19. The City estimated a potential loss of $6 million between this year and next year’s budgets.