Jefferson County has received $101.7 million in federal relief funds to cover expenses related to the coronavirus. The county applied for the funds that are available from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
The CARES Act made $2.2 trillion available to state and local governments, small businesses, and hospitals, in addition to providing stimulus payments and unemployment benefits to individuals. The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners is working to share those funds as quickly as possible with cities in the county and made the decision on the distribution of funds on Monday, May. 4.
“These funds that are being provided through the CARES Act will be a great relief to the businesses in our community that have been struggling through the COVID virus shutdown,” said Commissioner Libby Szabo. “I look forward to working and collaborating with our cities to take care of and support the businesses that have been devastated by this Coronavirus pandemic.”
The county will share 45% of the per capita rate – or approximately $29.8 million – of the CARES Act funds it received with its municipalities, according to Jefferson County Manager Don Davis. Those cities will receive funds based on their population. Jefferson County will use its funding to cover those costs associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This has been a very difficult time for us all, but we’re a strong community that looks out for one another,” said Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper. “The distribution of the CARES Act dollars strikes the right balance to ensure our cities and our county have funding to help businesses re-open and to support services that help our neighbors facing economic hardship due to the pandemic.”
The CARES Act requires state and local governments to use the funds only on expenses directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Funds may not be used for non-coronavirus purposes in an attempt to offset lost tax revenue.
Commissioner Casey Tighe said, “We all need to be responsible with how we spend this money to be sure that we are meeting the needs for our residents and community.”