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County has $1.65M to disburse out

By Staff | Aug 23, 2020

The first resolution regarding the allocation of the $1.65 million received by Faribault County as part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was passed by the Faribault County Board at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Following some discussion, the board voted to distribute $600,000 to the Faribault County Economic Development Authority to implement and administer a Business Relief Grant program and a Non-Profit Relief program.

The commissioners also earmarked another $5,000 to the EDA to be put towards a broadband Internet grant to Bevcomm, Inc.

The final disbursal contained in the resolution was to Faribault and Martin County Human Services in the amount of $205,000. The money is to be used for qualified expenditures incurred between March 1, and Dec. 1, of 2020.

The resolution passed on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Tom Loveall and Tom Warmka voted against the resolution.

Loveall was concerned with the allocation to the EDA, specifically the $198,000 dedicated to non-profit businesses.

“My understanding is non-profits have access to other funding,” Loveall stated. “So I would like to know which non-profits would qualify for the grants.”

Warmka raised the question of whether there would be enough money to help businesses.

“At the end of the day the government entities will be there,” Warmka commented. “My concern is also for the businesses in the county which may not survive the pandemic.”

Another part of the resolution was a directive for the county auditor/treasurer/coord- inator to draft a letter of support, on behalf of the Faribault County Commissioners, for the Bevcomm Internet project within the borders of Faribault County.

“The money for the Bevcomm grant is a no-brainer,” Loveall stated. “Our support of their grant initiative will give them a better chance of securing a much larger grant which would enable them to improve the Internet access in the county.”

The board will hold a work session on Aug. 28, beginning at 8 a.m., to discuss allocating the remaining funds from the CARES Act.