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Prince Edward board allocates $1.2M more in CARES Act funds

Financial help is on the way for Prince Edward County law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency management, county operations and child care.

Wade Bartlett

This help is coming after a second round of recommendations from the county’s CARES Act Committee was unanimously approved by the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Aug. 11.

The total allocated was $1,289,447.91.

The county has now received two payments of $1,989,387 from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This means the county has received a total of $3,978,774 in CARES Act funding.

A memo from County Administrator Wade Bartlett and Assistant County Administrator Sarah Puckett to the board outlined again that the funds may be used only to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the coronavirus.

The largest allocation of money went to the EMS — $516,347.91. Of that amount, $480,000 will help fund two ambulances, one for Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) and one for Meherrin Volunteer Fire & Rescue Inc.

Prince Edward will pay for all of the PEVRS ambulance, $300,000. Since Meherrin Fire and Rescue also services Lunenburg County, the board agreed to pay for 60% of that ambulance, $180,000. Lunenburg County will pay the remainder of the cost.

The second-largest allocation in the recommendations went to the law enforcement category — $446,000. The bulk of this amount, $333,000, was dedicated to purchasing Mobile Data Terminals (MDT). Thirty-seven will be purchased for $9,000 each.

Bartlett stated during the Tuesday board meeting that these MDTs will allow officers to get background information and allow them to decrease their amount of exposure to themselves and whomever they stop on the road. The terminals will help officers keep their distance and avoid certain exchanges by not having to handle as much paperwork.

The third-largest allocation total went to the child care category — $200,000.

“We’re seeing this increasingly in news articles nationwide that, in essence, child care is going to become one of the critical factors in economic recovery,” Puckett said.

Half of that $200,000 is earmarked for “YMCA/Sports Arena,” and the other half is earmarked for Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) facility upgrades, allowing it to have shelter capabilities.

Puckett said that in emergency situations, the county would typically use the Firemen’s Sports Arena to shelter people, but capacity there is now cut in half by social distancing requirements.

“So we have spoken with PEFYA,” she said. “The PEFYA board has already verbally agreed to allow the county to use (its gym) both for child care and emergency sheltering.”

However, she added there are some improvements that will need to be made to the building to upgrade it to become an adequate shelter location.