Metro mayors say if they don’t get federal COVID-19 aid, their cities won’t survive

Congress to send money to local communities working to fight coronavirus

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Congress is sending money to help local cities with Covid-19 recovery.

Mayors across Georgia say they need federal assistance and are making a plea for help.

Channel 2′s Sophia Choi spoke with multiple Georgia mayors who are trying to get assistance for their communities.

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Mayor’s across the state are worried that lack of revenue will have a trickle-down effect on businesses, families and communities.

“It’s been an absolutely devastating hit to our revenue source,” College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom said.

Many cities like College Park depend on revenue from utilities and taxes from hotels and motels.

With job losses caused by Covid-19, business closures and fewer people traveling during the pandemic, those revenue sources in decline.

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“If we don’t get help from the federal government, you’re going to see many small cities wiped out,” Union City Mayor Vince Williams said.

A recent Municipal Association survey of Georgia mayors showed some cities have lost 80-percent of taxes generated by hotels and motels and another 25% to 50% from utilities.

“I think we’re going to continue to see those numbers decline if you follow the trends,” Tifton Mayor Julie Smith said.

This means cities like College Park may furlough or lay off workers which could affect emergency responders and utility services.

These cuts would also mean no infrastructure improvements which would hurt small businesses like pipe layers and electricians.

Georgia mayors agree they must get a cut from the second round of Federal Cares Act money for their communities to survive.

Senators hope to pass funding by August.

Previously, only 36 cities received federal funding with Atlanta being the only one in Georgia.

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