Alachua County is moving forward with the disbursement of $46.9 million in Federal CARES Act dollars by adding public safety salary reimbursements and finalizing nonprofit applications.
At a 10 a.m. Special Meeting on Nov. 2, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted to approve the following staff recommendations:
1. Approve addition of County, sheriff and municipality safety salaries and benefits as an allowed allocation of funding.
2. Authorize the Manager to reallocate funds within all categories as final spending estimates change..including subrecipient agreements.
3. Approve a finding of necessity related to the COVID-19 public health emergency of all aspects of the plan as approved and amended.
The original plan to disperse the $46.9 million granted included $21.1 million for Individual Assistance Grants, $7.5 million for Small Business Relief Grants, $7.5 million for Medium Business relief grants, $2 million for Medical Expenses, $2 million for Public Health Expenses, $1 million for payroll expenses, $3.3 million for expenses of actions to facilitate compliance and $2.5 million for any other COVID-19-related eligible expenses reasonably necessary to the function of government.
According to Assistant County Manager Tommy Crosby, the State of Florida has established Dec. 3rd as the deadline for locking in the CARES Act funds disbursement details.
Crosby said the biggest change to the disbursement regulations is that reimbursement for public safety salaries is now allowed for County and all municipalities.
The plan is to take whatever funds are left over from allocating to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by COVID-19 and apply it to covering the payroll of public safety staff such as law enforcement and fire rescue in the County and the municipalities.
So far $11 million in disbursements of funds in Alachua County have been issued for individuals, and small and medium businesses with the majority of those funds going to individuals.
Overall projected spending is $19 million for individuals and an estimated $3 million out of the projected $5 million is expected to be distributed to businesses.
A newly established not-for-profit program in conjunction with The Community Foundation of North Central Florida was approved by the BOCC.
The Community Foundation is helping determine eligibility of applicants.
Thirty non profits were invited to apply for $6 million in funding and 20 now have applied for $2 million in requests.