County, cities, townships to receive COVID relief funds

Local News

Faribault County, some cities and townships are receiving thousands of dollars to help deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Through the CARES Act, Blue Earth is eligible for $241,390 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, while Wells has been awarded $168,988 and Winnebago $100,429.

“The money is there to be used for COVID-related expenses,” says Jake Skluzacek, Winnebago city administrator. “EMS departments that bought extra hand sanitizer and PPE (personal protective equipment) would be an example.”

Chris Holl, city administrator of Wells, says there are “easy, common sense” uses for the money but there are still questions on how the money can be spent.

Officials of the League of Minnesota Cities and state’s Office of Management and Budget, says Holl, are still trying to determine guidelines for cities to follow.

“They are highly restricted funds and we have set them aside until we justify specific uses,” he says. “We definitely can’t use the funds for revenue replacement, where departments have lost revenue.”

Holl says city officials plan to contact their auditors next week to go over uses and internal mechanics of how to account for the funds.

Blue Earth City Administrator Mary Kennedy says cities must fill out a certification form by Sept. 15 to receive their money.

“The money is available for expenses through Nov.15 and cities must follow federal guidlines in using these dollars,” Kennedy says.

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue website, Faribault County is eligible to receive $1.736 million and Martin County, $2.442 million.

The city of Bricelyn will get $26,068; Elmore, $43,999; Kiester, $35,636; and Minnesota Lake, $49,875.

Out of the county’s 20 townships, the following have been awarded funds:

Barber $5,675; Blue Earth City $8,925; Brush Creek $5,275; Clark $6,350; Delavan $5,800; Dunbar $6,500; Emerald $5,450; Foster $5,250; Jo Daviess $5,575; Kiester $6,000; and, Verona $8,275.

Cities and townships with a population of under 200 cannot receive relief funding but may get assistance from the county.

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