Stanly receives roughly $2.5 million to combat COVID-19

As part of the state-administered Coronavirus Relief Fund passed by Congress, Stanly County received $1.2 million on Thursday to assist in combating COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Counting the roughly $1.3 million distributed to the county in May, Stanly has received almost $2.5 million.

The most funds represent the second half of $300 million appropriated by statute to county governments. Counties are required to offer a minimum of 25 percent of their total allocation of the funds to municipalities.

County Manager Andy Lucas said $622,ooo will be allocated to the municipalities based on population size. He said Albemarle, for instance, will receive almost $331,ooo, while Locust will receive almost $66,000.

The funds can be used for purposes such as medical needs like testing, payroll expenses and public health needs such as procuring personal protective equipment. Lucas said the money can’t be used to replace lost revenue.

Lucas said each municipality will submit a plan to the county detailing how they plan to spend the money and Stanly has to then submit a county plan to the state by the beginning of September. Any funds incurred will be reimbursed by the county at a later time, he said, providing that they are in accordance with guidance from the federal government.

Though Lucas has so far only received a few drafts, he estimates most municipalities will take the matter before their governing bodies in August to craft the specific plans.

The municipalities have to incur the expenses by Dec. 30, or the money will be sent back to the federal government, Lucas said. In order to know exactly how much each municipality is purchasing and to account for any leftover funds, each municipality has until mid-November to let the county know of its expenses.

Of the almost $1.9 million left over for the county, Lucas said about half a million will go towards medical and public health expenses. Specifically, the funds will go towards purchasing PPP, including masks for people going into the courthouse, and testing equipment, fans and other supplies for the health department to continue providing testing for people in the county.

Funds will also be used for payroll expenses for public health employees, including contact tracers, responding to the pandemic. Lucas said the county is also going to hire two additional nurses to assist with testing (located outside the Stanly County Commons) and to man the phone lines.

Under North Carolina law, 97 counties received a base amount of $250,000, with more distributed by population. The three largest counties — Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake — each received funds directly from the federal government.


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