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2nd round of COVID relief:  $200K for Crookston

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    The City of Crookston will receive $200,000 to distribute as pandemic relief to qualifying businesses and non-profits that apply as part of a process that is being finalized and will be publicized when complete.

    On the heels of the first round of COVID-19 relief, known as the federal CARES Act, the Minnesota Legislature in late 2020 passed a second round of state relief totaling approximately $250 million, and Polk County was allocated approximately $622,000. Of that amount, the City of Crookston will receive $200,000 as part of a resolution approved Tuesday by the Polk County Board of Commissioners.

    It’s a smaller relief package this time around; as part of the CARES Act, the City of Crookston received $500,000 and Polk County allocated an additional $250,000 to be awarded in the form of grants to businesses and non-profits adversely impacted by restrictions resulting from the pandemic. Last fall, the Crookston City Council approved two rounds of grants after the City’s Development Policy & Review Committee considered applications.

    CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth and City Administrator Amy Finch are crafting the plan in regard to how specifically to distribute the relief funds this time around.

    “We should be ready in the coming days,” Hoiseth tells the Times. “The next step is to get the applications for grants out on our websites and other means.”

    The resolution approved by the county board allocates $200,000 to the City of East Grand Forks as well and $120,000 to the City of Fosston. The remaining $100,000 will be targeted at business and non-profit relief efforts in Polk County’s smaller, more rural communities. Similar to the CARES Act process, Hoiseth says the City of Crookston will be accepting grant applications from Fertile, Climax and Gentilly.

    Hoiseth said the funding overall is similar to the CARES Act, but with some modifications that have not yet been publicly detailed. He told the Crookston City Council last week that in reading the state legislation it appears that the dollars might be more specifically “targeted” this time around.

    The county resolution stipulates that all of the funds must be awarded by March 15.