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Weld governments unite for residents & businesses

Posted on 06/24/2020
Weld governments unite for residents & businesses

Government entities in Weld County have come together in an impressive way for the benefit of both residents and businesses alike – all 33 government entities in the county unanimously agreed on how Coronavirus (COVID-19) Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be utilized.

The collaborative agreement, which had to be solidified before the funds could be distributed, was the result of a few conference calls with municipalities, funding allocation options presented by Weld County Finance Director Don Warden, and assistance from Upstate Colorado with regard to developing a business relief fund, all of which occurred in just under three weeks’ time.

“To get 33 government entities to agree on anything in that short period of time is pretty amazing,” said Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. “It shows the desire of all of our county leaders to bring relief to our residents and businesses.”

Weld County will receive $27.8 million of CARES Act funding, which is to be used to pay for direct expenditures from COVID-19. The county’s portion, since it runs the county health department, the human services department, job services, the county jail, and countywide Office of Emergency Management, as well as purchased the personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and first responder agencies, will be $13,225,838.

“The county bears the brunt of the expense in a health emergency,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. “We know our municipalities have incurred costs as well, and it was important to make sure all of our municipalities were made whole after spending funds on COVID-19 related items.”

The group of municipal leaders and the county agreed to a per capita allocation of the remaining $12,285,290 of CARES Funding. The funds must be used for the relief effort prior to December 30, 2020. As the funding can only be used for Federally approved expenses, the group anticipates not all the funds will be utilized for reimbursements and has agreed to also create a business relief fund. The commissioners already agreed to put the county’s per capita share of funds, $2,314,061, into the business relief fund.

Upstate Colorado will develop the fund structure and application process in the upcoming weeks.