Otter Tail County Developing County's CARES Act funding Programs
JT Thaden | Jul 23, 2020 AT 9:11 am
Otter Tail County, MN – The CARES Act funding was authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funds can be used to support local government services as well as grants to businesses, hospitals, and individuals in Otter Tail County who have been impacted by COVID-19.
In late June, Governor Walz announced a plan to distribute $841 million to Minnesota counties, cities, and towns to support local government coronavirus relief efforts. The CARES Act requires that the payments from the funds be used only to cover expenses that:
• Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)
• Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the state or local government; and
• Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.
In early July, Otter Tail County received its allocation of $7.2 million. It is our desire to rapidly invest these funds in our communities and townships through the Navigating the Road Ahead Program, which includes six primary categories:
Community Resilience: Housing, food, and financial assistance for struggling individuals and families
Workforce: Resources for those who have lost their jobs as well as employers who need workers.
Small Business: Support for small business and non-profit organizations to stay open and adapt.
Education and Child Care: Assistance for local school districts and child care providers.
Emergency Response: Public safety and public health expenditures by the county.
Small Towns*: Resources specifically for small communities under 200 people.
*Cities and towns under 200 people were not eligible for a direct distribution from the state. However, Otter Tail County has developed a specific fund to reimburse eligible costs for those cities and towns.
Specific programs and investment recommendations are currently being developed by staff and community stakeholders. We welcome your feedback and input on ways in which this program can best support individuals, families, and businesses during this period of significant need. The goal is to begin rapidly investing these funds in our communities beginning in August.
Otter Tail County will continue applying for other funding opportunities from the federal government, state government and private foundations to offset the many costs associated with an effective COVID-19 response and recovery.
Otter Tail County is committed to ensuring individuals, families, businesses, and communities are supported during this challenging time. We want to ensure every dollar of eligible CARES Act aid is invested within Otter Tail County.