Home Local News COVID-19 County gets nearly $900,000 to cover COVID-19 impact

County gets nearly $900,000 to cover COVID-19 impact

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By DAN ROBINSON

Times staff writer

The federal government has made $887,262.39 available in Hardin County through the CARES funding to help lighten the financial impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total is divided between the county, the municipalities and the townships through a formula used in distributing the local government funds, said Auditor Mike Bacon. The county gets half of the coronavirus fund allocations. Of the remaining revenue, 20 percent goes to townships, said Bacon, 16 percent is awarded to villages and 14 percent is set aside for the city of Kenton.

The funds only can be used to reimburse the entities for costs they have incurred due to the virus, noted Bacon. Each entity is required to pass a resolution seeking the funds, he noted.

Although the amounts were announced in June, said Bacon, at this point only Kenton and McGuffey have requested their share of the funding.

For Kenton, that amounts to $124,216.73. McGuffey is eligible for up to $8,695.17.

The townships’ portion of the CARES funding is determined based on a formula which takes into account road miles, population and valuation, said Bacon. For example, Dudley and Liberty townships are each in line to receive up to $16,680. Pleasant is scheduled to receive $18,543.

Blanchard and Washington townships have notified Bacon they will not be seeking the funds. But, said Bacon, that could change.

The entities have until mid-October to accept the funding, he said.

The problem, continued Bacon, is some entities are having problems justifying expenses which fall into the guidelines and then face a lot of paperwork to seek the money. The county has $443,631 available, he noted, but the commissioners have only identified about $25,000 in expenses eligible for the COVID-19 costs.

The commissioners are looking to use some of the funds to assist the fair board in its losses, he noted.

They looked to assist Hardin Hills, the auditor said, but the county home is receiving money from Medicaid to offset the costs. The board of elections seemed to be another area where an investment would be justified, but the secretary of state has set aside $65,000 for the local election.

“The guidelines change every other day,” said Bacon, “but we can’t double-dip. If it is paid for through another source, we can’t claim it for this. It is great they are doing this, but there are so many strings attached to it.”

Once the mid-October deadline expires, said Bacon, the money will stay for an undetermined amount of time within the county. If a village, for example, has some funding unused, it could go to another village or township, said Bacon.

Some villages have talked about using the funds to assist their EMT service, but that is generally an independent third party which would add to the paperwork.

The village of Forest has discussed apply for the $25,375 it is slated to receive, but no action has been taken at this point by council, said Fiscal Officer Cathy Cain.

The village has had minimal expenses due to the pandemic, she said.

The administrators in Kenton are hoping to use the coronavirus fund as much as they can, said Mayor Lynn Webb. They are looking at purchasing touchless water fountains, a mobile computer system and upgrades to better stream city meetings.

“We are going to take advantage of every red cent we can get,” said Webb.

The municipal, township and county leaders realize that if Hardin County doesn’t use the funding, it will go elsewhere.

“I realize if we don’t use it, the money will go someplace else, but we still need to be accountable for it,” said Bacon. “There is a lot of federal money going out. I feel bad for our grandkids. They will never get this repaid.”


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