Alachua County Commission unanimously approves $46.9 million CARES Act plan


At their meeting yesterday, the Alachua County Commission discussed the $46.9 million in Federal CARES Act dollars coming to Alachua County. They unanimously approved the expenditure of these funds as outlined in the County’s CARES Act Plan. In their action, the Commission emphasized that their most important priority was getting relief to individuals and businesses.
The County is working on the application process and qualifications.  When completed, the County will make every effort to notify the public on how to apply.
“Many in our community are hurting,” said Commission Chair Robert Hutchinson, “and we intend to get this money to those in need as soon as possible.”
The following is the approved distribution plan:

1.     $21.1 million for Individual Assistance Grants

  • Rent, mortgage, utility, internet, phone and car payment assistance
  • Daycare assistance for school-aged children, if school attendance is limited
  • Documented 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 less

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  • Small retail, salons, non-essential businesses, daycares, etc.
  • Documented lost profit from required closure
  • Documented employees (non-owner/family) remaining on payroll while on required closure
  • Up to $10,000 total 

3.     $7.5 million for Medium Business relief grants – more than 25 to 50 employees

  • Sit down restaurants, entertainment venues, etc.
  • Documented lost profit from required closure
  • Documented employees (non-owner/family) remaining on payroll while on required closure
  • Up 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 capabilities
    • Example: Tents with climate mitigation, testing kits, additional sites
  • Increased emergency transport cost
    • Example: 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 workers
    • Example:  Masks, face shields, gowns, and similar items
  • $250,000 for disinfecting of public areas and facilities such as nursing homes
    • Example: Aerosol units, spray systems, and disinfecting products
  • $250,000 for quarantining health care and public safety officers
    • Example: First responders, law enforcement officers, and health personnel
  • $250,000 for preparing public buildings to serve customers
    • Example: 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 expenses

  • Local 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 government

  • To 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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