More than $10 million at stake in COVID-19-related funding for Nevada County | TheUnion.com
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More than $10 million at stake in COVID-19-related funding for Nevada County

John Orona
Staff Writer

More than $2.5 billion in funding hangs in the balance for counties that cannot certify they are following public health guidelines.

While the state’s last-minute budget deal signed Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom closes a $54 billion shortfall while shoring up programs for some groups, like senior and child care funding, it also comes with strings attached for the $1.8 billion slated for cities and counties.

The number rises to $2.5 billion if federal funds are included.

To be eligible for funding, local jurisdictions must certify with the state finance department no later than July 10 that they are in compliance with all COVID-19-related orders, directives, and guidance from federal, state, and public health department officials.

Potential funding is based on May population statistics.

Nevada County will be eligible for $10 million in funding, Grass Valley could get more than $150,000, Truckee will be eligible for more than $200,000, and Nevada City will be able to apply for $50,000 in funds.

If the local jurisdictions are certified to receive funding, they would be able to use the money for a variety of services, so long as they contribute to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, including homelessness, public safety and public health initiatives.

All funding would need to be fully expended, not just appropriated or tied to a project, by the end of the year.

According to County Financial Officer Martin Polt, the county will analyze what relief funding it’s already committed and what remains to create a budget and expenditure plan for the money. If there are expenses that will go beyond the end of the year, the county will work with the California State Association of Counties, which helped to divvy up the state funds to counties, to ensure there is a workable solution with state and federal authorities.

“Given the major unknowns and continued uncertainty, at this point I can’t say that the specific end-of-year time frame will necessarily impact how the funds are spent,” Polt said in an email.

On Sunday, Newsom ordered bars to close in several counties where cases of coronavirus have continued to increase, and on Monday he added 19 counties to its watch list of localities which could see additional COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the Nevada County’s reopening attestation plan, local health officials would consider reimposing restrictions if they hit certain epidemiological or public health triggers. Restrictions could include again limiting restaurants to curbside or delivery service and restrictions on outdoor recreation. Some potential triggers include having three consecutive days of significant case increases, having a case doubling time of less than five days, and having more than four chains of unlinked transmission.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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