The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to accept approximately $36 million from the federal CARES Act's coronavirus relief funds.
On Tuesday, the board voted 8-0-1 to accept the federal funding and distribute more than $6 million to its seven incorporated towns. Catoctin Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R) was absent for the vote.
With the new money coming in, the board also re-appropriated $156,000 back to Loudoun Museum. County staff is further expected to negotiate a revised agreement to give the Loudoun Museum $156,000 yearly for five years with a five-year renewal.
“I appreciate the chair for bringing this back, and I'm glad that we're able to do it,” Dulles Supervisor Matthew Letourneau (R) said. "I do think we acted in a little bit of haste at the last meeting, and I anticipated there was going to be some help coming in, but it's here and the important thing is we are able to restore this money and keep our commitments.”
Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said proposing the idea to reallocate funding to the nonprofits was done to support county citizens during the pandemic. She said she didn’t act "in haste” to make the decision.
Randall said one of the drivers for the previous shift was that Loudoun Hunger Relief has been seeing 26 new families every day.
“I have no regrets at all for doing that ... And if I could have found other money before this money came in, I'd [have] done that too because right now we're trying to feed people and keep a roof over their head,” Randall said. “Having said that, I'm very glad we can do this, and I'm very glad that this money has come back through.”
Virginia received approximately $3.1 billion from the federal government to cover expenses due to the impact of COVID-19. Revenue losses are not covered by the CRF funds.
Funding is being offered to localities across the commonwealth, including to Loudoun and its incorporated towns. Loudoun has incurred between $1 and $1.5 million in expenses, said Erin McLellan, assistant county administrator, during a May 12 finance meeting.
Personal protective equipment and disinfectant supplies have been some of the expenses, though Loudoun still has a shortage of disposable gowns and N95 masks.
The board is expected to use the CARES Act funding for personal protective equipment, specialized cleaning supplies, nonprofit support and emergency food and housing assistance.
In April, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act designed to provide funding for a number of different programs to address the coronavirus pandemic. One of the components of the measure is $150 billion in funding to assist state, local, territorial and tribal governments impacted by the coronavirus.
Allocations to states were based on population.
The state requires that each county equitably distribute funds to incorporated towns within its jurisdiction. The commonwealth determined county allocations based on population; the county used Weldon Cooper data to allocate funding to the towns in a similar manner. (See list below)
Paying for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency is one way the funds may be used. The funds may also be used to cover costs that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27 and that were incurred during the period that begins on March 1 and ends on Dec. 30.
CRF funds are to be considered "one time" monies and should not be used for ongoing services or base operations, according to the state finance department memo. Because the funds must be expended by Dec. 30, localities are advised not to create services with expenses beyond that period.
Recommended distribution of funding to towns
-Leesburg — $4,797,036
-Purcellville — $891,932
-Lovettsville — $182,372
-Middleburg — $74,824
-Hamilton — $56,496
-Round Hill — $59,077
-Hillsboro — $15,125
Allocations, populations in northern Virginia
Loudoun — $36,079,596 (413,538)
Arlington — $20,663,551; (236,842)
Prince William — $41,034,915; (470,335)
Alexandria — $13,909,478; (159,428)
*Fairfax received $200 million since it qualified for funding in April. It has a population of 1,147,532.