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Towns determining whether to accept CARES funds

A portion of the $1,036,484 in CARES Act funds the county received in May has been allocated to each town based on population, if the towns choose to accept the money.

“The Board of Supervisor’s intentions are to give the towns their allotted distribution,” County Administrator Dan Witt said. “I’m working on an agreement that each town will be required to sign since the county is responsible for any funds spent by the towns and deemed not related to the coronavirus. In that case, the agreement would require the town to pay the county back or provide a means for the county to collect the money.”

According to Witt, the Town of Charlotte Court House voted to accept its portion of the funding, which amounts to $44,932.

The town of Keysville is set to receive the most substantial funding at $68,663. Mayor Steven Morris said he believes the town would vote to accept it.

“We are looking at the nuts and bolts of it now and what it can be used for,” Morris said.

Drakes Branch Mayor Denise Pridgen said the town council would vote on its $43,798 portion at the Aug. 3 meeting.

The Town of Phenix is set to receive $18,671 and voted at its July 14 meeting to accept funding.

Funds that the town receive are designed to provide funding to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Funds must be used before the end of the year or returned to the state, and there are strict guidelines as to what the funds may be used for.

As of July 13, the county has spent close to $70,000 to cover COVIS-19 related items such a PPE, disinfecting, social distancing barriers, school resource officers that are now working county patrol, over time, and FICA to cover quarantined employee’s shifts.

Future expenditures in the amount of $228,000 included distribution to towns, food for the Department of Social Services Food Pantry, barriers at schools, adding an E-911 phone station separate from the dispatcher’s room, and purchasing eight laptops for county employees who may need to telework.