GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The CARES Act money continues to flow as nonprofits, local businesses, individuals and more receive COVID-19-related funding.
The Board of County Commissioners has been receiving regular updates about CARES Act funding from CARES Act lead Troy Nagle and Tuesday’s Aug. 11 meeting was no different. Another three nonprofits – Kids First of Florida, JP Hall Charities and Clay County Habitat for Humanity – were approved for funding.
“I will have to point out that if you award these three, that’s going to go $6,405 over what we originally budgeted for nonprofits,” Nagle said.
JP Hall Charities’ situation is especially unique because Nagle said the CARES team needs to work with the nonprofit to massage their proposal. The nonprofit proposed to the CARES team a new take on their annual toy drive. The drive is usually held at the Clay County Fairgrounds and sees hundreds of families stand in line before walking through the grounds’ many warehouses.
They grab toys based on the ages of their accompanying children but due to the coronavirus, an event like that just isn’t feasible. JP Hall Charities is instead proposing a drive-thru toy drive and Nagle said it’s possible to get approved for CARES funding but the nonprofit’s proposal will need some additional work.
The BCC approved the nonprofits’ funding with a 5-0 vote. That depletes the nonprofit CARES funding and Nagle suggested closing the fund for now. Commissioner Mike Cella said he wants to keep the possibility of it reopening in case additional CARES Act money is leftover that can be used for nonprofits.
Emergency Management Director John Ward explained Tuesday that the county has signed a lease that will run from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 with Signature HealthCARE of Middleburg.
“That will give us 30 rooms of care capacity in case we get a surge...as we head into the Fall,” Ward said.
It was previously more difficult to be released from a hospital – it required two negatives after contracting the coronavirus – and that caused potential hang-ups in hospital bed space. Ward said this leased surge facility can be used as an overflow or facility to place people recovering should the hospitals need the space.
In terms of local business and individual CARES Act funding, 18% of applications have been approved, 31% need additional information, 3.7% of the applications have been rejected and 48% of the applications are pending.
In other news, the county’s ambulance fleet will soon be complete. The BCC approved with a 5-0 vote a motion to purchase seven Stryker power load fasteners for $152,942.58. These load fasteners are what’s used to load stretchers into the back of ambulances and they are required in each vehicle. Before the BCC approved the purchases, reserved units and three new units were still awaiting stretcher installation.
With the power load fasteners approved, the county’s full ambulance fleet will soon be online and complete.
The board also extended the Clay County Economic Development Corporation contract for another five years. The EDC now will have to negotiate funding amounts and sources.