Supervisors begin discussions over $2.3 million CARES package

By Heather Michon

The Board of Supervisors moved through a short agenda on the way to a long conversation at

its regular meeting on Wednesday (June 6). At issue was how to distribute the $2.3 million in

federal funds allocated to help localities reduce the financial burden of the COVID pandemic.

County Administrator Eric Dahl announced the $2,379,202 allocation at the May 20 meeting.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in

mid-March, created a $150 billion pool for the states, with Virginia receiving $3.3 billion. Funding for each locality was based on its population.

There are restrictions on how the money can be spent, and Dahl said he has been receiving

frequent updates from the state on qualified expenditures. In general, the funds are to be used for

expenses related to the pandemic from the start of the shelter-in-place orders through the end of

the year.

With the expiration of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders and the phased reopening of

county offices, the funds could be used to purchase personal protective equipment for county

staff and visitors, cleaning supplies, new Plexiglass dividers for customer service desks in

various departments, and signage to encourage mask-wearing and other behaviors to slow the

spread of the virus.

Economic Development Coordinator Bryan Rothamel said many Virginia counties were setting

aside an average of 15 percent of the funding for small-business grants. There are some restrictions on what businesses would qualify for funds, but it could end up helping some business owners who don’t qualify under other programs.

Dahl noted that the money, which has already been received by the county and is currently

sequestered in its own account until decisions on how to distribute it have been finalized, can

also be invested in an interest-bearing account.

“Let’s hypothetically say right now we’ve got $2.3 million and off the bat we’re going to use

$300,000,” he said. The remaining $2 million could be put in a 90-day account to build interest, then withdrawn for the next set of expenditures.

“We’re not going to have this all figured out today,” said Dahl. Conversations on how to best use

the funds will continue at the June 17 meeting, and likely beyond.

As of June 6, the Thomas Jefferson Health District said a total of 92 Fluvanna residents had been

diagnosed with COVID-19 since its emergence in the spring, and six have died as a result of the virus.

In other business

Supervisors authorized the advertisement of two public hearings coming up later in June. The

public will have the opportunity to give comments on the distribution of CARES funds and

revenue bonds for the Zion Crossroads (ZXR) Water & Sewer Project.

The board had previously decided to take $3 million out of the fund balance to cover the next

phase of the project, but in light of the financial crisis and the pandemic decided to utilize debt

funding. They plan to issue revenue bonds of up to $3 million.

At the request of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the ZXR water line will also

be extended 1.1 miles beyond its originally planned terminus at Memory Lane on Rt.  250.

This will aid several properties in the area that were contaminated by a petroleum release many

years ago. The DEQ will pay $1 million of the anticipated $1.5 million cost of the extension.

Supervisors also approved a $162,000 expenditure for the installation of new air compressors at

each of the county’s four firehouses. The compressors are a component of the new self-contained

breathing apparatus (SCBAs) system for first responders. The total system, which includes

masks, air tanks, compressors, and a fit-test machine, will cost an estimated $939,000. The

county has applied for a state grant that would cover $818,000 of the expenditure.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138