FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
These funds will be administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG) and can be used for reimbursements of expenses necessary to comply with public health guidelines and protect Kentuckians. To apply, eligible local governments with COVID-19-related expenses from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020, must complete an application with expense documentation, which will be available on DLG’s website Thursday at 8 a.m. (EDT).
The funding will be allocated to city and county governments based on approximate population size as recorded in the most recent census data.
“Local governments have been instrumental in the fight against COVID-19 and are a lifeline in our local communities,” said Beshear. “During this fight, they have sacrificed so much to protect others by supplying PPE, enforcing guidelines, keeping the public informed and looking out for our most vulnerable. This funding will help them better protect all Kentuckians.”
DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene noted city and county governments have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our local governments are on the front lines of this pandemic, sacrificing to keep Kentuckians safe. This funding is critical in the continued fight against COVID-19,” said Commissioner Keene.
The U.S. Department of Treasury has outlined specific guidelines and examples of eligible reimbursements for funding through CARES, which was enacted by the U.S. Congress to stimulate the economy and provide financial relief for those addressing the public health emergency.
Guidelines include that expenses:
1. Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID–19;
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 Dec. 30, 2020.
Eligible reimbursements may include but are not limited to: the purchase of personal protective equipment for health and safety employees; expenses for communication and enforcement by governments for COVID-19-related public health orders; expenses for food delivery to nursing homes and vulnerable populations; improvements necessary for public employees to telework to comply with public health precautions; expenses for disinfection of public spaces and facilities; and payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services and similar employees who dedicated substantial time to mitigating or responding to the public health emergency.