SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, May 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County has announced that it will distribute $34 million to municipalities to meet needs at a local level after Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The CARES Act provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, said a news release from Salt Lake County. The CARES Act provides payments to state, local, and tribal governments.
The funds will be distributed to municipalities based on population.
“I am pleased that Salt Lake County is in a position to offer direct funding to its cities, townships and towns,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “Funding will go a long way in providing resources for local governments to address the needs of COVID-19. Our local governments have done a great job in addressing this emergency and, provided the federal guidelines are followed, funds can be used locally for both emergency response needs as well as economic impact. I am proud to partner with our communities to have such a long-lasting impact.”
The county has been reviewing the allowable uses of these funds, assessing the cost of on-going needs for the primary health purposes of the funds as well as assessing opportunities to distribute funding within the county, the news release said. Salt Lake County received approximately $202 million, which is being used to address the COVID-19 response.
The CARES Act provides that funds may only be used to cover costs that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (“necessary expenditures”);
- Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020; (the date of enactment of the CARES Act for the State or government; and
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.
U.S. Treasury has determined that funds may be used not only “to respond directly to the emergency, such as by addressing medical or public health needs,” they may also be used “to respond to second-order effects of the emergency, such as by providing economic support to those suffering from employment of business interruptions due to COVID-19-related business closures.”
Salt Lake County’s goal is to align funding distribution with the state’s distribution timeline of early June, contingent on several conditions being met. Agreements are currently being prepared and will be sent out when available.