Sep 1, 2021 - News
Polk County supervisors allocate $6M to Des Moines Hilton hotel
A photo of the downtown Hilton Hotel.
Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Polk County supervisors approved $6 million in federal coronavirus relief funding Tuesday to cover pandemic-related losses at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Des Moines.

What's happening: The county signed off on the allocation Tuesday despite having only received a portion of the roughly $95M allocated through President Biden's $1.9 trillion virus aid package in March.

Between the lines: The hotel's success is in Polk County's interest since its ownership is expected to transfer to the county after it is paid for, likely around 2047.

  • The $101M, 330-room hotel opened in 2017, using public and private money via a nonprofit established by Polk County.

By the numbers: In addition to the hotel allocation, nearly $25M will help cover the county government's 2020 pandemic losses. Tuesday’s other allocations:

  • Emergency Management: $576.1K to upgrade the county agency's technology.
  • Urban seeding: $250K for a seeder to plant cover crops upstream of Polk County for a water improvement program.
  • Healthy Homes: $195K for a program that aims to improve living environments for children with asthma.
  • Mental health clinician: $120K for training and equipment to add the position to a mobile crisis team.

Of note: Des Moines, which is also slated to receive around $95M in federal COVID relief, hopes to allocate its portion in coming weeks, city spokesperson Al Setka told us yesterday.

  • The city is still waiting on feedback from federal officials, Setka said.
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