Belle Fourche, Butte County set to receive CARES Act funding

Courtesy photo

BUTTE COUNTY — Local governments are eligible for funds from the Local Government COVID Recovery Fund and Belle Fourche and Butte County are hopping on the train in hopes of recovering losses related to unbudgeted COVID-19 expenditures.

Gov. Kristi Noem announced June 22 that the $200 million fund would tap into the $1.25 billion in federal CARES Act money. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a law intended to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

Expenses related to the pandemic that are eligible for reimbursement include those made as far back as March 1 up until Dec. 30, but eligible expenditures cannot be costs already included in approved county and city budgets as of March 27.

Breanna Schaefer, Belle Fourche City finance officer, told the council Monday that the city was preapproved for up to $1.289 million worth of relief funds.

“So, if we have some sort of a receipt that is COVID related, we can turn that over to the state, and then we could get those funds back,” she said. “After we’ve signed this resolution and the agreement … then we can start being reimbursed.”

Schaefer estimated the city had incurred approximately $40,000 worth of COVID-19 related expenses to date.

“We’ve been tracking (the expenses) since this hit, so we’ll go ahead and turn in what we’ve tracked,” she added. “And then, as they come in, we’ll probably just (turn it in) as it comes. That way, we’re not late and miss the boat.”

The council unanimously approved a resolution that authorized the execution of contractual documents with the state for CARES Act funding.  

Butte County discussed the topic during its Tuesday meeting. Butte County Civil Attorney LeEllen McCartney told the commission that she brought a proposed resolution that would authorize the county to execute a contract with the state to disperse CARES Act funding.

The commission unanimously approved the adoption of the resolution.

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