The Minnesota Management and Budget Office released its first local government Coronavirus Relief Fund spending report for the period ending Sept. 30, showing Carver County distributed $2.9 million of its $12.85 million grant funds so far.

The county’s initial distribution of $2.78 million went to the Carver County Community Development Agency and the Carver County Health and Human Services Division to establish and manage economic support programs for residents, small businesses, and non-profits that demonstrate a COVID-19-related economic impact. The programs specifically supported housing stability in the form of mortgage, rent and utility supports, transportation grants to assist with auto payments and insurance, and funding for small businesses and non-profits.

This is the first report issued, as the state plans to continue releasing this information through the end of November when the program ends.

The county’s Board of Commissioners, thru Oct. 20, has approved a total of $5.6 million in relief fund expenditures:

• $2.0 million: Carver County Community Development Agency economic support programs

• $1.4 million: IT & Facilities Projects to improve virtual public access and teleworking

• $865,000: Public Health measures, HHS space redesign, medical expenses, PPE, and sanitation supplies

• $775,000: Carver County Health and Human Services economic support programs

• $560,000: Partnership with Ridgeview Medical Center to purchase mobile clinic trailer/operate a call center

County staff plans to recommend to the board allocating the remaining $7.25 million in relief funding to reimburse the County for staff time relating to mitigating and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“We’re fortunate to receive this funding to support residents, small businesses, and non-profits impacted by this public health emergency,” Board of Commissioners chair James Ische said. “Without federal assistance, the county’s budget would have been in significant trouble and instead we are able to offer support to help with the financial hardships in our community directly related to the pandemic.”

The CARES Act provides $150 billion nationwide to State, local and tribal governments to cover expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These expenses must relate to the pandemic response, occur between March 1-November 30, 2020, and not be budgeted as of March 2020. The county received nearly $13 million in CARES Act funding in July 2020.

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