County receives 3,000 CARES Act applications in first day

BCC also told county revenues will be down by $4 million due to COVID-19

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GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The CARES Act money continues to flow to nonprofits and it will soon start trickling to local businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19.

CARES Act lead Troy Nagle explained the current proceedings of the CARES Act to the Board of County Commissioners during their July 28 meeting and he said his team is now looking at more than 3,000 applications for financial assistance.

“We launched our individual and business assistance applications yesterday [Monday, July 27] and we’re already at 2,600-plus individual applications and 400-plus business applications as of noon today [Tuesday, July 28],” Nagle said. “That’s where we’re at. We’re looking for a recommendation to shut the process off [for now] at 5 p.m.”

The BCC agreed to the recommendation. Nagle said if all of those applications are approved, the $3 million of the CARES Act set aside by the BCC for individual and business financial assistance will be exhausted. Nagle also proceeded to update the other CARES Act proceedings. The Health Department is in the Notice of Intent phase of the buying process.

They’ve scoped out a location to use CARES Act funding to build a new building and are waiting on an appraisal. The same can be said about the emergency supply warehouse that will soon be built using CARES Act funding. The business incubator recently approved is still in the process of looking for a potential location.

The 16 nonprofits recently approved for CARES Act assistance have received their checks and the BCC approved another four to receive funding. Those four are AMI Kids, Mercy Support Services, Hickory Grove Baptist Early Learning Center and Answers Resource Facility. They will each receive a cut of $125,000.

That brings the grand nonprofit total among 20 nonprofits to $651,405, which still doesn’t exhaust all $750,000 of CARES Act funding. The BCC voted to allow more nonprofits to apply. Nonprofits that have already received funding may apply for additional funding as well.

The BCC then transitioned into talk of its 2020-21 fiscal year budget. County manager Howard Wanamaker explained that between the 2019-20 fiscal year and the 2020-21 fiscal year, amongst seven different revenue sources, the county is estimated to realize a $4,096,270 decrease in revenue.

“What has been extremely difficult during these times was to anticipate our revenue,” Wanamaker said. “We’re already down $750,000. We may see a light at the end of the tunnel on these revenue streams but...that’s yet to be seen.”

The BCC reaffirmed once more their commitment to a maximum millage rate of 8.101. This was the rate for fiscal year 2019-20 so taxpayers need not worry about an increase in millage rate. That being said, property values have risen to a grand total of $12.2 million in parcel value, which is higher than last year, so even with the same millage rate, taxes paid will be higher.

Wanamaker had a budget with the 8.101 millage rate created and he said that while it was possible, it was an “unhealthy” budget. The BCC will discuss this millage rate and more budgetary proceedings during a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 3.

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