Commissioners to hold special meeting for state coronavirus relief grant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 26, 2020

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County commissioners will discuss and potentially adopt plans for a state Coronavirus Relief Fund grant during a special-called, virtual meeting on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The grant comes from the state as part of its Coronavirus Relief Fund, established in the CARES Act. About $4.07 billion was allocated to the state of North Carolina, and the four largest local governments, with populations exceeding 500,000, have already been allocated funds directly from the U.S. Treasury.

North Carolina’s “2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act” allocated a total of $150 million in funding for all 100 counties, with the funds being disbursed based on each county’s 2019 population estimates. Funds will amount to $2.56 million for Rowan County.

The meeting can be joined by going to bit.ly/rowanboc0527 and inputting password 05272020. It can also be joined via telephone by dialing 213-338-8477 or 602-753-0140 or 720-928-9299, with Webinar ID 980 9856 7914 and password 05272020.

Counties can decide to allocate the funding to its municipalities if the transfer qualifies as a necessary expenditure incurred due to COVID-19.

Eligible spending of the funds includes COVID-19-related medical expenses for testing, public telemedicine capabilities as well as expenses in public hospitals, clinics and temporarily established medical facilities.

Funds can also be used for public health expenses including protective equipment, disinfection of public areas and facilities, public safety measures and payroll expenses for public safety or healthcare employees. Expenses that involve public health measures such as teleworking, food delivery services, distance learning, paid sick and family and medical leave for public employees, maintaining prisons and protecting the homeless are all additional sources in which the funds can be used.

The board must submit its plan for use of the COVID-19 funds to the state by June 1.

The state law also reserved an additional $150 million for local governments’ use if the U.S. Treasury approves revenue replacement as an acceptable use of the funds.

Also at Wednesday’s special called meeting, the board is scheduled to ratify its approval for the tax incentive request for “Project Lake” and the FY 2020-21 HOME Funding Action Plan, both approved at the May 18 regular meeting.

At the May 18 meeting, commissioners gave preliminary approval to a tax incentive request for “Project Lake,” which seeks to create 388 jobs over the next five years at an existing facility in Kannapolis. The company behind “Project Lake” is a pharmaceutical manufacturer interested in reactivating the former Ei Solutions facility, located at 2865 North Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis. The proposed project would invest approximately $14.1 million in Rowan County through improvements to the Kannapolis facility and placement of new equipment.

The board also approved entering into a contract with the Salisbury Community Development Corporation, which will administer the HOME Funding Action Plan. The 2020-21 program anticipates the rehabilitation of five owner occupied, single-family units that will require $178,260 in funding.

Commissioner Chairman Greg Edds told the board that new state rulings for video conference meetings require the board to keep a public comment period open for 24 hours after a public hearing before making an official vote. The board’s final approval of Project Lake and the HOME Funding Action Plan will be based on any additional public comments submitted within 24 hours after the May 18 public hearing.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

Comments

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

email author More by Natalie