The Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a $22.5 million reimbursement Nov. 10 through federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding for county public safety expenses incurred from July to September.
Montgomery County Auditor Rakesh Pandey said the request for reimbursement was similar to a previous request from March 27 through June 30.
“The fund will be sitting as a restricted amount until it is fully cleared out, just in case,” Pandey said. “We are going to make sure we have a green light before we do anything with it.”
Pandey added the CARES Act funding is expected to expire Dec. 30 and that he is currently unaware as to whether it will be extended.
“There is some subject to change without notice, given our current political situation,” Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said. “We don’t know where we’re headed with that.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack voted against the approval, citing issues with reclassifying the CARES Act funding; he said he wanted to be sure the county would not have to pay the money back.
Noack and commissioners have previously raised concerns that funding could potentially need to be paid back from the county if it was later deemed not compliant with requirements. A previous proposal to provide $500 to many county residents was dialed back after county officials learned the program might not fall under the intended use of the funds.
Also on Nov. 10, commissioners approved using $350,000 of CARES Act funding to make equipment and technology purchases in order to comply with telecommuting guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.