The Douglas County Board of Commissioners was asked during an hour-long virtual meeting Aug. 6 to come up with a plan on how the county will spend the remaining Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding it will be receiving from the state.
The county was advanced about $1.6 million, or 30% of the $5.5 million allocation it is receiving from the CARES Act.
County Administrator Mark Teal said that $1,260,229 has been accounted for in June. He said they are in the process of getting the July receipts to submit for reimbursements.
A large chunk of the funds went to hazard pay for county frontline workers and to funding of the Community Service Board.
The funds can only be used for COVID-19 related expenses. All expenses must have been incurred between March 1-Dec. 20 to be eligible for reimbursement.
Any funds that are not supported by “documentary evidence” for COVID-19 related expenses must be returned.
“We would all be in a different place if not for the effort from Congress,” Teal said during the meeting.
The county has $3,876,613.17 remaining to spend on pandemic related expenses.
“We know revenue loss is substantial because of COVID,” Commissioner Tarenia Carthan said. “We have to be careful of what we have. We don’t have a penny not to get back.”
Carthan said she would like the BOC to revisit the resolution it passed in April that allocated the money to help combat the county’s effort in the pandemic, which included hazardous pay to county first responders.
Commissioner Kelly Robinson said some of the money should go towards small business grants for the county with educational support tied in.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health has asked the county for $903,000 from the CARES Act funding to help continue providing services to Douglas County residents.
Cobb County has already provided Cobb & Douglas Public Health with the $1.2 million the agency has requested to assist with coronavirus testing and other related expenses in Cobb.
Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones asked the commissioners to come up with a list of COVID-19 related items it should spend the remaining $3 million on.
“There are so many unknown factors right now,” Commissioner Ann Guilder said. “We don’t want to spend these funds on things that will be covered by other money we can get from the federal government.”