Alachua County CARES Act applications are on the way

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -Alachua County says its CARES Act application process is on its way.

The county’s staff is trying to create an application system that is clear and functions well.

They’ll bring it before county commissioners during their special meeting on August 3.

The commission received just under $47 million to distribute through the cares act.

The county released the following as its exact approved distribution plan:

1. $21.1 million for Individual Assistance GrantsRent, mortgage, utility, internet, phone and car payment assistanceDaycare assistance for school-aged children, if school attendance is limitedDocumented issue related to COVID-19 (i.e. furloughed / laid off)Citizens can apply for up to $5,000. The first-round of grants will be up to $2,500 with the possibility of up to an additional $2,500 in the future as funding allows.

2. $7.5 million for Small Business Relief Grants – 25 employees and lessSmall retail, salons, non-essential businesses, daycares, etc.Documented lost profit from required closureDocumented employees (non-owner/family) remaining on payroll while on required closureUp to $10,000 total

3. $7.5 million for Medium Business relief grants – more than 25 to 50 employeesSit down restaurants, entertainment venues, etc.Documented lost profit from required closureDocumented employees (non-owner/family) remaining on payroll while on required closureUp to $15,000 total

4. $2 million for Medical Expenses$1,250,000 allocated to the Alachua County Department of Health for contact tracing specialists, epidemiologists, and related support staff for testing, tracing, case management, and containment of COVID-19.$750,000 allocated to other medical expenses to include, but not be limited to:Expansion of testing sites and capabilitiesExample: Tents with climate mitigation, testing kits, additional sitesIncreased emergency transport costExample: Decontamination units, overtime due to quarantine issues, drug costs

5. $2 million for Public Health Expenses$1 million for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies for public health and safety workersExample: Masks, face shields, gowns, and similar items$250,000 for disinfecting of public areas and facilities such as nursing homesExample: Aerosol units, spray systems, and disinfecting products$250,000 for quarantining health care and public safety officersExample: First responders, law enforcement officers, and health personnel$250,000 for preparing public buildings to serve customersExample: Social distancing markers, signage, modifying counter areas, etc.$250,000 crisis intervention from trauma as a result of COVID-19

6. $1 million for payroll expensesLocal share of FEMA expenses for county, municipalities, and constitutional officer employees responding to COVID-19.

7. $3.3 million for expenses of actions to facilitate compliance with COVID-19-related public health measures$800,000 maintaining the county jail, including as relates to sanitation and improvement of social distancing measures, to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.Example: Modification to Air Handling System, and inmates per pod / cell.$500,000 local share of FEMA expenses for county, municipalities, and constitutional officer non-payroll expenses responding to COVID-19.$500,000 cost to enforce public ordinances in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.Example: Overtime, additional staff, and law enforcement support

8. $2.5 million for any other COVID-19-related eligible expenses reasonably necessary to the function of governmentTo be held in reserve for programs not yet determined and expenses not yet anticipated. If not expended by October 30, 2020, this amount shall be redistributed to other categories.

The Commission’s motion also approved:

1. The use of a third-party administrator to implement programming and monitor funds for the programs outlined in this plan.

2. The Resolution and budget amendment for unanticipated revenues and budget amendment to receive and account for these funds.

3. The execution of sub-recipient agreements by the Chair with any entity or agency receiving funding from the County.

4. Directing staff to work with all stakeholders’ utilities, landlords, etc. to get the word out to citizens regarding the County’s Assistance Program. The intent is to work with all agencies to get the word out for bills to be paid, and the Chair is authorized to sign Chair Letters to assist with the effort.

5. Staff providing an update at the first meeting in August and all subsequent meetings in August of the funding program for the Board to determine if it wishes to reallocate.

6. A staff report to the Board on the July 14, 2020 meeting on the Code Enforcement activities of County staff and each of the municipalities’ enforcement activities.

7. Allowing for individuals to apply for up to $5,000.00 and cap the award at $2,500 per household for the initial round.8. Including that assistance for complying with the County Public Health Ordinance is an eligible expense and asks that the Companies warrant that they are complying with the County Emergency Orders.

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