By Bill Atkinson
Governor announced Tuesday that the remaining $644.6 million earmarked for all 133 localities in the state is ready to be allocated; money will pay for unbudgeted public-emergency expenses between March 1 and Dec. 30
The Tri-City area will receive more than $12 million in federal COVID-19 relief, Gov. Ralph S. Northam said Tuesday.
Statewide, all 133 localities across Virginia are splitting a total of $644.6 million in coronavirus relief money distributed as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress at the outset of the pandemic. That actually is half of the total amount allocated to Virginia under the CARES Act.
Funds are distributed based on a locality’s population.
In the immediate Tri-City area, Petersburg will receive $2.7 million, Hopewell $1.97 million and Colonial Heights $1,52 million.
Prince George County will receive a total of $3.34 million. Dinwiddie County will get $2.5 million.
Those totals were the same each locality received from the first round of allocation.
Local officials received a memo Tuesday morning from state Finance Secretary Aubrey L. Layne Jr. detailing how much they would receive and explaining the process they have to follow in order to get it.
Each locality must submit a new certification form and complete an online survey explaining how they will use the CRF money. According to the memo, the funding must cover public-emergency expenditures not accounted for in their local budgets as of March 27, plus what the locality will spend on pandemic-related expenses between now and Dec. 30, 2020.
As soon as these two documents are fully completed and submitted, the Department of Accounts will initiate the transfer of funds to the local treasurer,” Layne wrote in the memo. That transfer will take place within five business days of receipt confirmation.
The CARES Act did not require distribution of funds by states to localities with populations of 500,000 or below. But of all the Virginia localities, only Fairfax County with its population of 1.4 million would have qualified.
But Layne noted in his memo that the administration opted to distribute the funds because localities of all size have suffered fiscal hardships because of the pandemic.
In announcing the funding, Northam pointed out that Virginia was one of the first states in the nation to distribute its federal aid directly to the localities.
“We are committed to making sure localities of all sizes get the assistance they need to respond to COVID-19 and keep Virginians safe during these unprecedented times,” the governor said.
Among this area’s neighboring counties, Chesterfield will receive $30.8 million, Sussex $973,500 and Surry $560,235.