Augusta County getting money from CARES Act through state

Augusta County Government Center April 2020 | Credit: WHSV
Augusta County Government Center April 2020 | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 10:29 PM EDT
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Augusta County has received $6.5 million from the state through the CARES Act, but it can't be used to make up the county's budget shortfall, which is a little over $5 million.

County administrator Tim Fitzgerald said they county has incurred a lot of expenses because of the virus. They've had to pay for personal protective equipment, sneeze guards, extra staff hours, and additional cleaning.

"There are various things that we've done that have cost us some money that we typically wouldn't see if the virus wasn't here," Fitzgerald said.

Even as the state and county continue to re-open, Fitzgerald expects costs will continue to add up. They'll still have to purchase PPE, there will be more cleaning as the buildings open. Fitzgerald said they're also increasing the amount of cleaning, they're purchasing new technology and equipment to help with that.

He added they haven't gotten a ton of guidance about what they can and cannot use the funding on. They know they can't use the funding to make up the budget shortfall, but Fitzgerald said that's something they would have liked to be able to do.

"We've been using our general fund, just our general taxpayer dollars, in order to pay for this emergency and it's a significant cost to us," Fitzgerald said.

However, Fitzgerald said the money will be beneficial to the county, since there are still COVID-related costs they will be facing, but there are still normal county expenses.

"It's certainly a big help, because we're able to use those dollars and then to use our normal tax payer dollars for other things that we need to do in the county," Fitzgerald said.

The county expects to get the money on June 1.

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