Collin CARES funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which sent more than $171 million in federal aid to Collin County earlier this year. The county adopted the Collin CARES recovery plan May 11 with the goal of assisting families and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic with costs incurred from March 1 through Dec. 30.
Commissioners voted Nov. 2 to utilize $4.5 million in reserves from the federal funding for outstanding county projects including ones related to elections, health care and information technology. Commissioners also approved moving $1.5 million from the reserves to cover additional claims from local food pantries that will surpass the $7.5 million previously earmarked for them. The vote to allocate the extra funds was unanimous, though County Judge Chris Hill was absent from the Nov. 2 meeting.
“I believe the food pantry [fund] is going to be oversubscribed,” County Administrator Bill Bilyeu said. “I received an application today for $650,000 on its own. I don't believe that the $7.5 million will make it through the next couple of weeks, to tell you the truth.”
Bilyeu said he anticipates additional large food pantry claims will come in this month because of programs run for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
One of the major costs among the additional county projects is the upcoming runoff election for the Texas Senate District 30 seat. State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, and Republican Shelley Luther of Dallas will face off in the Dec. 19 runoff for the Texas Senate District 30 seat recently vacated by Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper.
“The overall costs [of the runoff] are a burden to [the county], but the COVID costs of the extra cleaning, the extra supplies and extra by-mail [voting] are something that can be picked up from the CARES act,” Bilyeu said.
The Collin CARES program provides financial aid for housing, utilities and groceries. The recovery plan also assists with funding for COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment and Collin County cities’ COVID-19 costs and recovery efforts. Additional details on the Collin CARES program are available at www.collincountytx.gov.