Kenosha mayor seeking $30 million in state aid to cover damages, rebuild after violent protests

Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 01:17 pm

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian has requested $30 million in state aid for properties damaged and destroyed during violent protests in the city last week and to fund revitalization efforts to help the community rebuild.  

The city is working with business owners to assess the total cost of property damaged by rioting and looting since protests broke out over the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23. Kenosha’s downtown and Uptown neighborhoods sustained the most damage, with some businesses reporting more than $100,000 in losses. 

The state funding would help cover property damages, costs incurred by the city during the unrest, and initiatives that will encourage new businesses to invest in the area, the city said in announcement Sunday. 

“Kenosha is a safe community with hardworking individuals who are mourning and facing immense tragedy and devastation,” Antaramian said. “We’re asking the state and community partners to help rebuild what was lost and to invest in programs and training for our young people.”

Antaramian has said he will also seek aid from the federal government.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha Tuesday to survey the damage and meet with law enforcement. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked Trump to reconsider his visit in a letter Sunday, saying he was concerned the president’s visit would “hinder our healing” in Kenosha. 

Kenosha Downtown Inc. initiated a recovery fund that has raised more than $87,000 to support local businesses over the past week. Alexandria Binanti, executive director of the economic development and downtown revitalization nonprofit organization, has said more funds are needed to rebuild. 

Some news reports indicated that as many as 30 businesses were damaged across the city. Kenosha Chamber of Commerce president Lou Molitor said more than a dozen of his members sustained damage early last week, including Salon Technique, Car Source, Metro By T Mobile, Uptown Restaurant, Uptown Beauty, The Good Taste Ice Cream Shoppe, B & L Office Furniture, Rode’s Camera Shop and a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service location.

“The city of Kenosha has experienced a significant economic impact, both our small business owners and large corporate tenants who have lived and worked here for generations,” said Common Council president David Bogdala. “We need to move quickly to provide aid to our local businesses so we can get people back to work and enjoying our beautiful city.”

 

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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