CARES Act Funding and The Coronavirus Relief Fund
Earlier this year the CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief fund available to cities and counties with populations over 500,000, US territories, and Tribal governments to cover expenses that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency only;
- Were not accounted for within the most recently approved County budget as of March 27, 2020; and
- Are incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020.
To date, a total of $98 million in CARES Act funding from Federal and State sources has been made available to the County of Fresno.
- The CARES Act specifically excludes the ability of state and local governments to use Coronavirus Relief Funds to replace revenue shortfalls.
- The CARES Act provides that the Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury shall conduct monitoring and oversight of the receipt, disbursement, and use of funds made available to state and local governments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. If the Inspector General determines that the County has failed to comply with the requirements listed above, then the County can be required to repay to the Federal government the amount of funds involved in the failure to comply.
Through May 31, 2020, the County has incurred expenses totaling $14,104,474 in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Of that amount, $11,745,256 in claimable CARES Act funding has been expended in the following categories:
|Public health expenses||$59,832|
|Expenses of actions to facilitate compliance with public health orders||$1,625,153|
|Expenses associated with provision of economic support||$5,001,085|
|Eligible expenses incurred to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency||$278,718|
The difference of approximately $2.4 million has been covered through other funding sources. Additionally, the $14.1 million does not include costs through May 31, 2020 that were incurred but are still in the review process.
Categories of CARES Act Funding Expenditures
Including the claimed expenses to date of $11.7 million, the following is a preliminary overview of the categories of CARES Act funding expenditures:
|Helping Underserved Businesses (HUB) Grant||$5,000,000|
|Medical Investigations and Contact Tracing||$10,000,000|
|Department’s Reimbursed Expenses||$6,711,000|
|Personal Protective Equipment||$3,000,000|
|Education and Outreach||$10,000,000|
|Jail Medical Expanded Services/Testing||$10,000,000|
|Retrofit County Facilities||$2,000,000|
|Additional Space for DPH||$500,000|
|Misc. Provider Grants/Advertising/PSAs||$4,000,000|
|Total Proposed Expenditures||$69,211,000|
Based on the total proposed expenditures of $69,211,000, there will be approximately $28,807,000 available to address unforeseen costs or be used to offset lost revenues if the Federal government changes its criteria to allow for such use of CARES Act monies. There are legislative proposals to provide additional funding for the replacement of revenue shortfalls and/or to amend the CARES Act to allow for such. County staff, along with the County’s Federal Advocates, continue to monitor and advocate for additional Federal stimulus packages to assist state and local governments.