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Polk to receive $587K

Federal funding to be dispersed by states soon for COVID-19

POLK COUNTY—Polk County should soon receive $587,186 from federal funding for COVID-19.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the $85.4 million in federal funds for COVID-19 relief on Tuesday, with the funding to be disbursed this week to counties.

The funding is coming from the state-administered Coronavirus Relief Fund that was passed by Congress.

“Everyone is working hard to make ends meet, including county governments as they finalize their budgets,” Cooper said. “These funds will help communities respond to the COVID-19 crisis with testing, personal protective equipment and more.”

The governor’s office said in a press release that the federal government did not require that North Carolina share any of the $3.56 billion in the CRF to local governments but Cooper’s budget recommended $300 million of that be allocated to counties and municipalities.

Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said Wednesday the county is not yet sure how it will use its $587,000, but county staff is already working on where the money should go. The state is requiring the county send in a plan to submit to the state budget office soon. County staff will come up with a plan for use of the funds, then county commissioners plan to discuss and approve it during a meeting scheduled for Monday, June 1, according to Pittman.

According to the state’s press release, Cooper’s budget included $150 million for counties, which will have the flexibility to share money with their municipalities as county commissioners deem appropriate.

There are requirements for how the funding can be used. The reasons include medical needs, including testing; public health expenses; payroll expenses for public safety and expenses for public health measures, including paid leave for employees, expenses for maintaining prisons, food delivery and distance learning.