POWHATAN – The Powhatan County Board of Supervisors recently adopted a plan on how the county intends to use almost $2.6 million in CARES Act funds related to Powhatan’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Curt Nellis, emergency management coordinator, gave a presentation to the board on June 22 outlining a plan on how the funds might best serve the county. The federal emergency relief funds, which have numerous restrictions on how they can be spent, must be used by Dec. 31, 2020, to pay expenses directly related to the coronavirus crisis or returned.
After a public hearing in which only one comment was related to funding broadband in relation to COVID-19 precautions, the board voted unanimously to approve the plan.
According to the Virginia Department of Health website, as of July 5, Powhatan has seen 84 cases of people testing positive for COVID-19 with six hospitalizations and two deaths.
The proposal was a cooperative effort between the county’s finance and emergency management departments to manage the CARES Act funds in accordance with federal guidelines.
About $1.03 million of the funds would go toward force account labor, which is straight and overtime hours (including benefits) for any county or school division employee engaged in COVID-related tasks or work activities.
Of special note were citizen support sub-grants and economic development sub-grants, both totaling $517,404. The citizen support sub-grants would be available to any Powhatan nonprofit whose primary mission is to provide support and services to Powhatan citizens. The maximum grant per proposal is $25,000 and they would have to be aimed at supporting citizens impacted by COVID-19. For the citizen support grant, contact Curt Nellis at 804-598-5677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The economic development sub-grants would be available to licensed Powhatan businesses with a maximum $25,000 per proposal. For more information on economic development sub-grant guidelines, contact Roxanne Salerno, economic development program manager, at 804-598-5605 or email@example.com.
Other uses of the grant money would include: materials and supplies specific to COVID-19, $258,702; personal protective equipment for county and school employees, $129,351; facility improvements made to provide additional protection from the spread of COVID-19, $77,610; professional services by outside contractors, $25,870; hours, supplies/materials, and equipment necessary to administrator and manage the application of the CARES Act, $12,935, and miscellaneous expenses tied to COVID-19, $12,935.
Nellis said he doesn’t think Powhatan will have difficulty spending the CARES Act money
“We already have expenses that we’ve incurred that this federal grant will be able to cover, those that occurred during the months of March, April, May, and even into June. Those funds can be used for those expenses,” he said.