Camden County has received a 5.4 million dollar grant from the federal government under section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES ACT"). This grant is designed to offset expenses incurred due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Camden County has received a 5.4 million dollar grant from the federal government under section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES ACT"). This grant is designed to offset expenses incurred due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Limitations on the permissible uses of this grant have been set forth by the Department of the Treasury. Payments from the fund may only be used to cover costs that:

1. Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus disease; 2. Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020; and 3. Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.

The Camden County Treasurer has opened a separate bank account in which the funds have been deposited and the County Auditor is developing procedures whereby the county will receive and process applications and administer the grant.

The guidelines provided by the Treasury Department detail the types of costs which can be covered under the CARES ACT. Among these are included costs such as: Medical Expenses such as testing and treatment facilities, emergency medical transportation, and the establishment and operation of telemedicine capabilities; Public Health Expenses such as the acquisition and distribution of medical and protective supplies, disinfection of public areas and other facilities such as nursing homes, and mitigation of COVID19-related threats to public health and safety; Expenses of Actions to Facilitate Compliance with COVID19-related Public Health Measures such as expenses for food delivery, distance learning, and care for homeless populations.

The guidelines and limitations as set out by the U.S. Treasury Department are detailed and specific. The grant may only be used to cover costs incurred due to the public health emergency and actions taken to respond to the emergency. It may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue that may occur. While a broad range of uses is allowed, revenue replacement is not a permissible use.

All expenses covered by this grant must be necessary costs for public health with respect to Covid-19. While the final decisions regarding the allowable costs related to Covid-19 that will be covered by the grant are the responsibility of the County Commission, the actual oversight, procedural management, and administration of the grant is the responsibility of the County Auditor.

Jimmy Laughlin, Camden County Auditor stated “The legislature stated very clearly that this money was not to be used to supplement loss of revenue but only to be used for unexpected non budgeted Covid-19 related expenditures to aid in efforts to keep our communities safe.” The Covid-19 crisis has been very stressful for the entire lake area, for businesses and residents alike. In addition to the economic slowdown, many local organizations have endured increased financial burdens at the same time. Camden County is very appreciative of the CARES ACT and looks forward to off-setting some of the extra costs incurred in dealing with the COVID19 pandemic.