County to get CARES Act money

Published 4:31 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

$1.4 million to be split among local governments

Lawrence County will be getting just over $1.4 million from the state from the CARES Act fund.

The funds come after the passage of House Bill 481, which helps local governments pay for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Rep. Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill, co-sponsored the bill to help secure over $3.7 million for the four counties in the 93rd District. Lawrence County will get $1,406,864, Gallia County will get $934,687, Jackson County will get $934,687 and Vinton County will get $444,098.

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The money will be distributed to county, city, village and township governments based on the state’s Local Government Fund Formula.

“So, 60 percent goes to the county, which is roughly $844,119. The City of Ironton will get roughly $319,000,” Stephens said. “They can get up to that amount, if they had that much in COVID-19 expense.”

He said the funds come from the federal government and is very restrictive as to what it can go to.

“It is not revenue replacement, it is not an issue where this money can be spent in the future. It is more of a reimbursement for unexpected, unbudgeted expenses in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens said. It can be used for things like personal protective gear like gloves and masks. “It is really going to be for first responders like EMS, health department, police and fire departments; that is what the bulk of it goes toward.”

He said the funds are not a windfall for the governments.

“It is to try to reimburse local governments for expenses that they are incurring during this pandemic,” Stephens said.

He said that the governments will have to provide receipts and they will be audited on what they claim.

Stephens said he has heard that Lawrence County has already spent more than $400,000 on COVID-19-related expenses.

“So, it is pretty significant,” he said. “This will definitely help.”

The bill passed the House on May 20 and the Senate on June 10 by unanimous vote. It will likely be signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine soon.