The Camden County Commission has awarded the first round of the $5.4 million in CARES funds allocated from the federal funds the state of Misosuri received. The funds are part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to local governments.

The Camden County Commission has awarded the first round of the $5.4 million in CARES funds allocated from the federal funds the state of Missouri received. The funds are part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to local governments.

Associate Commissioner Don Williams said the county is responsible for distributing the funds to various political subdivisions, schools and even some businesses. The county is currently accepting applications.

"We plan to continue to accept applications until October, at which time we will begin distributing the funds. However, time-sensitive situations do arise and, in those cases, the county is already distributing funds," he said."Bear in mind that the general Cares Act guidelines that came from the Treasury Department stipulate that the fund is to offset costs that would not have been incurred if not for the virus. That’s not the specific wording but that’s the overall thrust of the purpose of the Cares Act."

So far, Camden County has released more than $25,000 to two municipalities and the Camden County Library District to cover costs associated with COVID-19, such as PPE equipment and infrastructure improvements needed such as telecommunications equipment, laptops, plexiglass shields, cell phones and other essentials. The funds can be used for equipment needed to deal with the coronavirus or comply with the public health orders that were enacted in response to the virus.

Williams said the county is working with the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce to develop an application form that is more appropriate for businesses.

All Cares Act funds must be distributed by Dec. 31, 2020. There are a few expenses within county government that will be funded through the Cares Act but Williams said those have not been processed.