By: Jeremy D. WellsCarter County Times
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, provided over $2 trillion in economic stimulus in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, including payments to individual Americans, unemployment funds, loans and aid to small and large businesses, and almost $340 billion in payments to state and local governments.
These payments to local governments can be used to cover a wide variety of costs for the county and cities, including payroll for various essential government employees. But, before they can receive those funds, county and municipal governments have to adopt resolutions related to the CARES Act funds.
That’s why the city of Olive Hill met in special session on Monday night. The meeting, held in a closed space with council members masked and socially distanced and broadcast over social media to comply with open meeting requirements, had only two items on the agenda – the CARES Act resolution and a request for disbursement number six in the city’s energy savings program.
The resolution “authoriz(es) the filing of a coronavirus relief fund application for reimbursement of incurred expenses… authoriz(es) the mayor to execute any documents deemed necessary… and act as authorized correspondent… for reimbursement of expenses incurred.”
The resolution further states that those requests for reimbursement must be related in some fashion to expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other item on the agenda was for disbursement number six for the energy savings program. That program, which includes updates to the city’s water system, including remote digital reading of water meters and water monitoring that helps the city pinpoint and repair leaks, also included new streetlights and other updates to the city’s water system, including a new processing plant. The changes to the water system are expected to save the city money on unbillable water losses as well as man hours used to find and repair broken lines as the monitoring program makes it easier to narrow down the area of leaks.
Councilor Shannon Shutte and Mayor Jerry Callihan were both absent from the meeting. In Callihan’s absence council voted to have councilor Justin Dixon lead the meeting at the outset, before any other action was taken.
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