Nevada County breaks down COVID-19 relief spending |

Nevada County breaks down COVID-19 relief spending

Last year, the state set aside more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds for local jurisdictions that were not directly funded through the CARES Act recovery bill.

Now, the latest reports on how those funds were spent are becoming available.

Nevada County was allocated just over $10 million, more than $4 million of which was spent on staffing for public health and safety employees.

Across the state, costs for staffing additional public health and safety employees accounted for nearly 18% of all expenditures, making it on average the second highest cost driver after facilitating distance learning, which accounted for more than 21% of costs statewide.

Nevada County also spent nearly $800,000 redirecting personnel and services to a substantially different use in response to the pandemic.

The county’s second largest expense was on small business assistance, spending $1.85 million on donations to the Nevada County Relief Fund and macro-grants directly to frontline nonprofit organizations.

More than $1 million was spent on improving telework capabilities for public employees.

According to Chief Fiscal Officer Martin Polt, this included network equipment and upgrades; laptops and other equipment allowing employees to work from home; and protective barriers and cleaning supplies for county buildings.

The county also spent nearly $500,000 on public health expenses, including for emergency hotel rooms for people at risk of homelessness.

“The largest cost here are contracts with public health professionals to assist in public health work,” Polt said. “Those include the interim public health officer and other professionals.”

The county allocated $500,000 to accelerate Race Communications’ broadband construction in areas of its Bright Fiber project most in need of distance learning upgrades. An additional $200,000 was spent on the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ agreement to provide on-site distance learning access.

More than $150,000 was committed to housing projects, over $15,000 was spent on personal protective equipment and just over $4,000 went toward testing and tracing.

The county also gifted a total of $415,000 to the county’s local police departments.

Cities within Nevada County were also awarded funding — $200,369 to Truckee, $158,846 to Grass Valley and $50,000 to Nevada City.

Those reports were not immediately available.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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