Deadwood gets $229K in CARES Act Funds

Courtesy photo

DEADWOOD — The city of Deadwood is entitled to $229,000 in CARES Act funds and July 6, the city commission authorized the execution of contractual documents with the State of South Dakota for receipt of the funds.

“As you know, we got $292,000, which is based on population,” said City Finance Officer Jessicca McKeown. “With that being said, I know there is a lot of frustration that although our population is only 1,200, we don’t have the budget that matches that, based on all kinds of things, including HP (Historic Preservation).”

McKeown said she voiced the city’s concerns in a conversation Monday with Black Hills Council of Local Governments indicated they will help facilitate the process of applying for additional funding at the state level.

“This is step one, and we’re asking for approval,” she said.

As part of the agreement and to receive CARES Act Funds from the state, the city acknowledged that any request for reimbursement of expenditures will only be for expenditures that were not accounted for in the budget for the city of Deadwood most recently approved as of March 27, and that it will only seek reimbursement for costs incurred during the period from March 1-Dec. 30.

The commission also granted permission for Mayor David Ruth, Jr. to sign a Local Government COVID Recovery Fund Reimbursement agreement with the Bureau of Finance and Management, a state agency.

“This goes with an item we just approved. This is who manages the money and does the disbursement,” McKeown said. “This allows us to be able to have it set up as a separate fund within our government and be able to send in direct reimbursement to them.”

Commissioner Gary Todd asked about an upcoming potential expenditure to thoroughly sanitize all city buildings.

“I’m not comfortable signing a contract with those guys (Bacteria Busters) for $150,000 if we know we’re not going to get it reimbursed,” he said.

“At this point, with payroll, which would be police and then our safety officer, and the expenses we’ve itemized just as COVID, we, right now, are close to a million dollars … We’re going to submit $442,000 on Wednesday and at that point, we’re going to see if they just say that all they will allow is $292,000 or if they’ll submit the $442,000 … our question to the state was where is that money going? Does it then get disbursed at the municipalities or does it then remain at the state level? We need to know that answer first and then we have a better idea.”

McKeown said the big goal is how much this affects not only this year’s budget, but next year’s.

“Because if we don’t get that, we’re going to be jumping into reserves in the next month. We all know that,” she said. “To be able to make next year’s budget, we don’t want to cut for the next year’s budget we really need.”

Ruth said that’s why financial commitments, such as one to Bacteria Busters, a large-scale disinfecting company considered earlier on Monday night’s agenda with a presentation from company principals, aren’t being made.

“We need that answer first,” Ruth said.

Commissioner Sharon Martinisko clarified that the agreement being considered is, essentially, with the middle man.

“If we don’t sign it, we don’t get $292,000,” Ruth said.

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