The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has unanimously accepted $36 million though the second round of federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funding.
Funding will go to support the seven incorporated towns ($6 million) as well as childcare program services in the county ($16 million). The county’s program will potentially have 1,006 seats and offer free and reduced lunch to qualifying families. Those with special needs are given first priority using a lottery system.
The board also voted Sept. 2 to set aside a $12 million appropriation for the school system until LCPS officials provide more expenditure details.
In a response to the board before the business meeting, school officials said the CARES Act funding would go to cover “overtime, temporary staffing, and other compensation.”
Dulles Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R), who also serves as the board’s finance committee chairman, expressed concerns with the response.
“These answers don’t make any sense to me,” Letourneau said. “But out of pure accountability and being able to tell my constituents actually what I voted for here, I can’t support this unless there’s more information.”
Any unused coronavirus relief funds must be returned to the commonwealth, according to county staff. Should the school system not identify qualifying expenditures up to the amount allocated, county staff said they will work to identify appropriate uses elsewhere, according to county documents.
Loudoun has received more than $72 million in CARES Act funding this year, county staff said. After considering allocations to the seven incorporated towns and LCPS, nearly $48 million is available to the county to offset eligible expenses.
In May, Loudoun accepted $36 million in the first round of federal funding and provided more than $6 million to the seven towns. The board also used the CARES Act funding for personal protective equipment, specialized cleaning supplies, nonprofit support and emergency food and housing assistance.
Similar to accepting the funds in May, Loudoun will be required to submit a new certification form and complete an online survey regarding the use of the federal funds.
In April, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 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.
Virginia 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.
Coronavirus relief funds are to be considered “one-time” monies and should not be used for ongoing services or base operations, according to a state finance department memo. Because the funds must be spent by Dec. 30, localities are advised not to create services with expenses beyond that period.