FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

CARES major topic of BOCC special meeting

By Cindy Jackson
Reporter
October 2, 2020

Historically, the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners meets the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6:00 pm and the third Wednesday of each month at 9:00 am.

As a result of COVID-19, however, a special meeting is called each and every Wednesday, to renew and approve, if nothing else, a resolution declaring/extending the State of Emergency in Nassau County.

By law, this action must be undertaken every seven days and is necessary to ensure that any and all expenditures as a result of the emergency (in this case, COVID-19) are eligible for state and federal reimbursement and other assistance.

The Board approved its first resolution declaring a State of Local Emergency on March 18, 2020.

At the BOCC meeting of Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the State of Local Emergency was extended until October 7 and CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funding was a main topic of discussion.

On July 1, 2020, Nassau County received the first round of its CARES allocation – $3,866,095 – (representing 25% of its award amount). Nassau County is eligible for a total of $15.5 million.

The second round of funding for counties with populations of less that 500,000, began during the week of September 21, 2020. For this round, Nassau County is scheduled to receive $3,092,876.00.

In order to access this second allocation (representing 20% of the total), however, several steps had to be taken including:

• An expense report submitted to the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) for the original award
• A plan submitted to FDEM for how the county plans to spend its 2nd allocation
• An amendment to the original CARES Act contract needs to be signed
• FDEM must approve the spending plan for the 2nd allocation, and
• An expenditure plan must be developed for the remaining 55% allocation which will be made available via reimbursement only

According to a summary sheet developed by the County Manager’s office, the expense payment from FDEM for the $3,092.876.00 is pending as a result of the County’s successful completion of the state’s mandates.

David Jahosky, managing director for the Government Services Group (GSG), gave a brief report to the Commissioners via Zoom, outlining how Nassau County plans to distribute its second allocation divided into cost categories as follows:

$304,000 Payroll Expenses (for public health and safety workers)
$260,000 Public Health and Safety expenses
$348,000 Economic Support
$240,000 Personal Protective Equipment
$482,000 Housing Support
$718,000 Food Programs
$740,000 remaining in the Small Business Assistance Program

Reached via email, County Manager Taco Pope had this to say about the Small Business Assistance Program. “The grant window has closed. The Nassau CARES team is no longer accepting applications. However, the money that was not distributed via the small business recovery grant program is still being dedicated to support the business community, but in a different manner. There are two programs we are going to be rolling out in collaboration with two partners in the very near future.”

Before commissioners moved onto other business, including a discussion of legislative priorities for 2021, County Manager Taco Pope, (who, like Jahonsky, the County’s CARES guru) was participating via Zoom, said this about CARES, “We’re going to get back to you in about two weeks to talk about how we are going to get you to the finish line.”

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