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Prince Edward board authorizes CARES fund allocation

Prince Edward County’s Board of Supervisors made decisions Tuesday, July 14, on where a significant portion of the county’s nearly $2 million in CARES Act funds will be going.

Pattie Cooper-Jones

The county has received $1,989,387 from the federal government as Prince Edward’s share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

A CARES Act Committee was formed, composed of county supervisors, Prince Edward County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) members and a Farmville Town Council member, to determine how the funds will be allocated. The committee had met three times before making its first recommendation to the board Tuesday.

“We have taken this time to really try to go over and look at things that the COVID fund can finance, and I’m pleased to say that I think we have given it a pretty good shot at it,” Farmville 801 District Supervisor and Committee Chair Pattie Cooper-Jones said. “We’re going to call this Round No. 1, and it’s nothing that we as a (committee) can do, but the full Board of Supervisors has to change, amend, talk about, discuss the things that you want to approve.”

The grand total of the committee’s Round 1 Recommendation was $778,844.68. The recommendation included 10 categories and 30 line items. Of the line items, 26 had specific dollar amounts provided.

The 10 categories and the money designated for each of them in the Round 1 Recommendation were as follows:

• Personal Protective Equipment — $47,000

• Hand Sanitizer & Supplemental Cleaning Supplies — $10,000

• Health Care/Employee Leave Costs (to date) — $20,057.84

• Reimbursements (to date) of County Expenditures Responding to COVID-19 — $73,241.22

• Volunteer Fire Departments — $38,800

• EMS/First Responders — $114,460.91

• Department of Social Services Management COVID Programs — $300,000

• COVID Economic Recovery – Managed by County IDA — $100,000

• COVID Nonprofit Program – Food — $50,000

• Town of Farmville — $25,284.71.

Cooper-Jones said she spoke to Farmville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES) Food Pantry President Ellery Sedgwick with regard to the $50,000 amount under category “COVID Nonprofit Program – Food” that will go toward a FACES delivery van for food assistance. She noted that FACES realized after the COVID-19 pandemic came about, it was not fully equipped to take care of people.

Leigh District Supervisor and Board Chairman Jerry R. Townsend asked for more details about the “COVID Economic Recovery – Managed by County IDA” category that had only one line item, which read, “Round 1.”

Kate Pickett

Prince Edward County Director of Economic Development Kate Pickett stated in a Wednesday, July 15, interview that much of the $100,000 allocated to that category was going to small business relief.

“In terms of small business eligibility, the eligibility requirements are that the business must employ less than 50 people, they must have less than $2 million in annual gross revenue, we ask them if they’ve received other financial assistance from federal or state or local business assistance programs and ask them about how much they’ve received,” she said. “Those are the main eligibility requirements.

“Obviously we ask for lots of documentation on their taxes to prove those things, and we ask them what the grant funds will be used for so that we can be sure that they are using them correctly with the CARES Act restrictions,” she added.

For more details on the CARES Act Committee’s Round 1 Recommendation, visit http://www.co.prince-edward.va.us/Agendas/07142020.shtml and click on the link associated with agenda item No. 11, “Committee Reports.”