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County receives CARES funds

No one spoke during a public hearing held by the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors to amend the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget for local allocation of $1 million in Federal CARES Coronavirus Relief Funds Monday, June 8.

According to County Administrator Dan Witt, the county was notified May 12 that it would receive $1,036,484 in CARES Act funds.

Those funds were not accounted for in the recently approved budget.

The 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.

The money is designed to provide ready funding to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Witt said $29,000 of the funds has already been spent on personal protective equipment for the sheriff’s office, rescue squad, fire department and governmental offices, and on purchasing plexiglass for barriers at the commissioner’s office, the school’s administration office and several school offices.

A portion of the CARES Act funds may also be distributed to towns within the county, but according to Witt, no towns have requested funds.

“The board’s intentions are to give the towns their allotted distribution, which is based on population,” 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.”