Local leaders say Congress must act soon on municipal aid

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(l to r) 360 Intel CEO Tyler Goodwin, Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH), Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, State Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester). Credit/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Tuesday, Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) joined with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester) and local business owner Tyler Goodwin to discuss the urgency of the expected upcoming COVID-19 aid package and its impact on New Hampshire.

Pappas praised the HEROES Act and its $1.5 billion in COVID-19 assistance for some local government services passed in May, but reiterated his warning that Congress will need to approve additional direct aid for local governments or they will be forced into raising taxes or decreasing services due to the pandemic’s impact on municipal government revenue.

Under the HEROES Act, Manchester is estimated to receive $127,617,663.

“Prior to this pandemic, Manchester was thriving. Now, because of the unknowns as a result of COVID-19, I’m concerned about what lies ahead in the City of Manchester,” said Craig. “In an effort to reduce the financial burden on our citizens and businesses, local governments have absorbed many costs, which has resulted in a significant reduction in revenues, including the City of Manchester, which is down about $3.5 million. People in Manchester and all over the country are struggling, and cities need to be increasing services that are offered to residents, not decreasing them.”

Pappas believes that a bipartisan solution will be needed, although the initial Republican response provided last week was insufficient. He also believes there is likely a majority that can be found among Democrats and supportive Republicans to find some sort of deal, and that the cost of doing no deal is greater than any price tag now.

“There has been a tremendous amount of resources to COVID relief and getting this economy back on its feet, but we’re going to have to continue recalibrating those efforts over time and do what it takes,” said Pappas. “It’s a lot less expensive for today to act than to allow our small businesses to go out of business totally, to allow someone to become chronically unemployed, to allow as Mitch McConnell said, to go bankrupt.”

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Congressman Chris Pappas on Aug. 4, 2020. Credit/Andrew Sylvia

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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.