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Local governments in line for CARES money
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Additional CARES Act money could be making its way into Warren County. Local governments are eligible for $829,700.

Tennessee received $2.65 billion from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, in response to the economic fallout of the COVID pandemic. 

The state is sharing $115 million with local governments that meet the qualifications.

Allocations are based on population: Warren County is eligible for $613,700, McMinnville is eligible for $205,320, and Morrison is eligible for $10,680. Those monies are only distributed to communities that can prove they have incurred expenses directly related to the pandemic. 

“This is, in essence, a second round of money and in addition to the local government support that we received previously,” said city administrator Nolan Ming to the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “This CARES Act money is much more restricted. There are many more regulations around it and what we can use it for.”

Local governments will initially be eligible to request a 30 percent advance of their allocated amount and the remaining 70 percent balance may be accessed on a reimbursement basis after the advance has been substantiated by required documentation.

“We don’t get this money,” said Ming. “We only get what we spend and get approval for reimbursement.” 

Mayor Ben Newman asked if the funds could be used to reimburse the city for salaries paid to employees that were not sent home during the pandemic.

“Possibly, yes,” said Ming. 

Funds can also be used, said Ming, to reimburse the city for any facemasks, cleaning supplies and equipment, such as non-touch thermometers, that were purchased. 

The CARES Act provides that payments from the CRF may only be used to cover costs that:

are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID–19;

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 Dec. 30, 2020.

Expenditures related to COVID-19 must be prior to Dec. 30, 2020 or they will not be considered for reimbursement.