Clark County to distribute $1.3 million in second phase of CARES Act reimbursements

The Clark County offices at the Springview Government Center. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The Clark County offices at the Springview Government Center. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark County will distribute about $1.3 million in the second phase of reimbursements using federal dollars aimed at providing relief to local governments during the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Acts (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress in March. The allocations are designed to help local governments that have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

Clark County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said the reimbursements will be made to county officials like the auditor, recorder, and court systems. Reimbursements are being made as a result of “a lot of updates,” to the county’s network system so that county employees could work from home when the pandemic began.

“Included in phase two are a lot of updates to our (internal) network system so we could do some work-from-home type of improvements and continuing if we have to do it again with a second wave,” Hutchinson said. “It was spent on laptops, stuff like that.”

In total, the county government has received $2.7 million in money set aside to help local governments. It is designed to cover unexpected costs made as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

That includes an original allocation of $1.8 million doled out in July and another allocation of $900,000 as the state released more of that federal relief funding to local governments.

Late last month, $769,496 of that relief money was transferred to the Clark County general fund to mainly cover payroll expenses directly related to the pandemic, Hutchinson said.

ExploreClark County makes first phase of CARES Act reimbursements

That could include hours worked by employees engaged in tasks that normally would not have been done if the pandemic was not happening.

The county referred to this as its ‘first phase’ of reimbursements.

After funding from phase two is redistributed to government officials, the county will have roughly $600,000 remaining in CARES funding. Hutchinson said the county is still working to determine what program to spend the money on, however, some ideas have already been tossed around.

“It might include some type of rent assistance, economic support to small businesses, hot-spots for schools, different ideas we are going to try to come up with so we can implement them really quickly,” Hutchinson said. “There are some great ideas from other communities that have done similar projects after they have reimbursed county entities.”

The county has until Dec. 31 to spend the money. Whatever money remains will be returned and redistributed to other local governments that have already spent their allocations.

The funding cannot be used to fill in gaps in general fund budgets due to a drop in tax collections.

Money was distributed using the state formula that determines how much entities get in local government funding.

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