The Douglas County and Douglasville governments are in line to recoup money that was spent on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, Gov. Brian Kemp corresponded with all city and county leaders throughout the state to inform them that distribution of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding will begin.
In the first phase of the distribution, Douglas County is eligible for $5.5 million and Douglasville is eligible for $1.7 million, according to figures released by the governor’s office.
The state will advance the county $1.6 million of eligible funds while the city stands to get $533,821 of its allocation.
The money represents 30% of each of the government’s allocation.
City and county governments have to apply for the funds through a website that the governor’s office is setting up.
All money received must go directly to money used in response to COVID-19 business.
“We plan to apply as soon as the website is up,” County Administrator Mark Teal said. “We have expenses that are related to COVID-19. It is an ongoing process.”
The county has until Sept. 1, or it will be “recalled and reallocated for other uses,” according to a letter sent to county and city government officials.
“As Phase One funding is exhausted, additional program and disbursement criteria for the remainder of the $1.23 billion will be developed and evaluated to ensure that there is flexibility to respond to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the governor wrote in a letter.
According to the CARES Act, the feds say that “funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue” to cover expenditures that would not otherwise qualify as eligible expenditures.
Teal said that ongoing cleaning and supplies will be needed. He said commissioners will also discuss how the funds can be used to meet the needs of keeping the county safe during the pandemic.
During an April Board of Commissioners meeting, they voted 4-1 to pass a resolution in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which included $539,649 in hazard pay for first responders.
The commissioners’ response to the pandemic was capped at $900,000 and included funding for the community as a whole and health care equipment.
The state has received $371.5 million from the stimulus package, with about $111.4 million being advanced to eligible county and city governments.