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Kent County allocates federal COVID-19 relief funds

An additional $20.434 million was placed in reserve in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
Credit: Kent County Health Department

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted to allocate $94.2 million of the federal Coronaviurs Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support local government, community partners and small businesses. 

An additional $20.434 million was placed in reserve in the event of a second wave of the virus. As part of the CARES Act, Kent County was awarded $114.6 million on April 24th, 2020 from the U.S. Treasury. 

A COVID-19 Relief Subcommittee was established and met on a bi-weekly basis for the past two months to hear testimony from under-served communities that have been hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board directed funding to the following priorities: 

• County Expenses: $35 million (This includes, but not limited to, expenses for community education, emergency operations, homeless population response, surveillance and contact tracing, testing, public safety and correctional facility, etc.) 

• Business Assistance: $25 million 

• Return-to-Work PPE: $3.0 million • Mitigation of Homelessness: $3 million 

• Care for Vulnerable Populations: $12.2 million 

• Compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Measures: $1 million (An objective of this priority is to expand internet access to facilitate social distancing.) 

• Assistance to Local Units of Government: $15 million 

• Un-allocated (Reserve for Possible Second Wave): $34 million 

The CARES Act funds must be fully spent by Dec. 30, 2020 or will be forfeited back to the federal government. 

RELATED: Kent County launches program to provide PPE to local employers

“Members of the Subcommittee worked very hard over the past two months to make every dollar count for the residents of Kent County,” said County Administrator Wayman Britt. “I appreciate the work of my team in assisting our Commissioners in developing a set of funding recommendations that attacks the spread of the virus and assists those facing financial hardship.”

County administration will now develop a process to distribute the funds to various programs that meet the priority criteria.  

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