We are urging all special districts to take advantage of the funding available through the CARES Act. The third round of funding requests is now open through August 21st. As a reminder, special districts (as defined in ORS 198) outside of Multnomah and Washington Counties are eligible to apply for COVID-19 expense reimbursements. Approximately $17 million remains to be distributed to special districts that apply.
New rounds of funds will be available each month until November (possibly December), or until the $20 million allocation is gone. We encourage you to plan now for what to submit. Below is important information to consider that will help you in determining what expenses are eligible.
Districts may submit a claim for eligible COVID-19 related expenditures from March 1st, 2020 forward in any reimbursement period.
$250,000 Maximum Reimbursement
Out of the additional $20 million in funding, the maximum amount available to any single special district is $250,000. However, if you already applied for your maximum of $250,000, continue submitting additional expenses whenever you can. If the funds are not all allocated by November, districts that exceeded their maximum can receive additional funds.
Public Health Funds
Public health funds are not limited to public health agencies. All districts can apply for any of the dollars available under the public health category.
Reimbursement for Matching Grant Dollars
If your district has applied for FEMA Public Assistance grants, you can get reimbursed for the matching dollars. According to the US Treasury FAQ on CARES Act Funds:
Payments from the Fund may be used to meet the non-federal matching requirements for Stafford Act assistance to the extent such matching requirements entail COVID-19-related costs that otherwise satisfy the Fund’s eligibility criteria and the Stafford Act. Regardless of the use of Fund payments for such purposes, FEMA funding is still dependent on FEMA’s determination of eligibility under the Stafford Act.
Reimbursable Expenses Awarded to SDAO Members
SDAO members have already had the following expenses approved:
- Additional payroll covering the fire chief’s time for attending additional meetings related to COVID-19 response
- Administrative assistant’s additional payroll related to additional COVID-19 tasks
- Disinfecting equipment to maintain vehicles and station
- Video conferencing equipment to facilitate public meetings
- Telework equipment for staff
- Security systems that allow a reception area to communicate with individuals outside prior to allowing them into the building (allows for COVID-19 screening)
List of Eligible Expenditure Categories
Examples of the eligible expenditure categories include the following:
A. Public hospitals, clinics, and similar facilities
B. Temporary public medical facilities
C. COVID-19 testing, including serological testing
D. Emergency medical response expenses
E. Telemedicine capabilities
Public health expenses
A. Communication and enforcement
B. Medical and protective supplies
C. Disinfecting public areas and other facilities
D. Technical assistance on COVID-19 threat mitigation
E. Public safety measures
F. Quarantining individuals
Payroll expenses for employees dedicated to COVID-19
Expenses to facilitate compliance with COVID-19-measures
A. Food delivery to residents
B. Distance learning tied to school closings
C. Telework capabilities
D. Paid sick and paid family and medical leave
E. COVID-19-related expenses in county jails
F. Care for homeless populations
Guidance on Payroll Expenses
Funding can be used to meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- There is still approximately $17 million available to special districts.
- New rounds of funds will be available at the end of each month, until November (possibly December), or until the $20 million allocation is gone.
- Plan now on what to submit for reimbursement. There is a broad array of expenses that qualify, so make sure you aren't missing anything. Contact SDAO Risk Management for ideas.
- If you already applied for your maximum of $250,000, keep on submitting additional expenses whenever you can. If the funds are not all allocated by November, districts that exceeded their maximum can receive additional funds.
- Districts may submit a claim for eligible COVID-19 related expenditures from March 1, 2020 forward in any reimbursement period.
How to Apply
The State DAS Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) team has put together an online portal that serves as the mechanism for entities to request CRF. If you have not already, please register for an account on the CRF Grant Portal. Reimbursement requests cannot be submitted without an active registration. Please view the instructions on how to register.
You may submit your district’s reimbursement request for the third round from August 10-August 21. Eligible expenses are those incurred from March 1, 2020 forward. Please view the instructions on how to submit a reimbursement request through the new CRF Grant Portal.
Please contact Jason Jantzi, SDAO Risk Management Consultant, with any questions.