In May, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted to allocate $15.8 million of the $41 million of CARES Act funding the county received from the federal government, with $8 million going toward rent and mortgage relief; $5 million for small business relief; $2 million for homeless services; and $800,000 toward helping the four towns in the county.
This week, the Board voted to allocate the remaining $25 million for small business recovery, COVID-19 testing, building a structure for homeless services, support for the food supply chain for individuals and families in need, community organizations that provide COVID-19 relief services, and current and projected COVID-19 expenses. The allocation of expenses includes:
- $4 million for testing, which will allow the Prince William Health District and hospitals to provide more frequent testing.
- $5 million to help small businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19.
- $1 million to aid the Community Feeding Task Force. While contributions to the task force have come in at approximately $20,000, it is not enough to feed the growing number of people who have become food insecure through the crisis, said County Executive Chris Martino.
- $1 million to those community organizations providing COVID-19 relief regarding things like health care, transportation, utilities, and housing. We will distribute the money through the Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William in the form of grants to organizations that would have the greatest impact on the community, Martino said.
- $3 million for a navigation center built on county property to offer the homeless shelter and services 24/7 and allow for enough space for social distancing and services.
- $11 million toward unbudgeted current and projected COVID-19 expenses, which include conducting emergency operations, providing medical supplies, buying personal protective equipment for county personnel and technology for teleworkers, and working with various groups to deliver food, among other things, Martino said.
The CARES Act provides funding to local governments to pay for unbudgeted COVID-19-related expenses, including medical expenses, public health expenses, payroll expenses, provision of economic support, and other COVID-19-related expenses reasonably necessary to the function of government or to facilitate or enable compliance with COVID-19-related public health measures. We must spend all CARES Act funding by Dec. 30, 2020.
Martino said the county is working with its delegation to the Virginia General Assembly and surrounding jurisdictions to help make sure that any additional state and federal funding comes to the county.
For more information regarding the county’s response to COVID-19, visit pwcgov.org/COVID19.