Yavapai County anticipates $10.4 million in CARES Act money
Special meeting June 5 to finalize grant application
More than $10 million could be coming Yavapai County’s way from the CARES Act – money that county officials say will help to make up for the millions of dollars of lost revenue expected from the COVID-19 shutdown.
During the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Wednesday May 3, County Administrator Phil Bourdon pointed out that the county is in line to receive $10.4 million of the $1.8 billion that the Arizona Governor’s Office received in CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding.
In order to get the funding, the county must submit a grant application to the state of Arizona. The board agreed to conduct a special meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, June 5, to approve that application.
“On June 5, we’ll make a determination on how to proceed,” Board Chairman Craig Brown said Wednesday.
Bourdon explained that the $10.4 million is earmarked for public health and public safety regular salaries and employee-related costs incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020.
Ultimately, Bourdon said the CARES money would help the county balance its budget in a fiscal year that is expected to be characterized by dramatic COVID-related revenue decreases.
Already in the current 2019/2020 fiscal year, which ends on June 30, Bourdon said the county projects a $6 million decrease in projected revenues.
That includes about $4 million in sales tax revenues and another $2 million in vehicle license and Highway User Revenue (HURF) money.
For the coming 2020/2021 fiscal year that starts on July 1, Bourdon said the county expects continued revenue decreases.
The $10.4 million in CARES money is separate from the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) money that the county likely will seek to cover overtime expenses incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yavapai County remains under an emergency declaration until July – a measure that will allow the county to seek federal help to cover the emergency costs.
Bourdon said the $10.4 million in CARES Act money cannot be used to reimburse the county for those emergency costs, which are largely overtime costs, while the CARES Act money covers regular salaries.
Despite the help from the CARES Act, Bourdon said he does not expect the county to adjust the 2020/2021 budget, which already includes a number of reductions in anticipation of the COVID-related revenue decrease.
For instance, he said, the county still plans to halt new-vehicle purchases and employee raises for the coming fiscal year.
“Quite frankly, there’s no change in that,” Bourdon said, noting that the CARES Act money would help the county to make up for the expected shortfalls. “It’s too early to know (how the revenues will be affected in the 2020/2021 fiscal year),” he said.
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