Denton County Commissioners unveiled their plans this week for $147 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act that provided payments to states and local governments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Treasury set aside $150 billion in the CARES Relief Act and calculated payments based on total population counts. Counties and cities with populations greater than 500,000 received funds directly from the federal government.
All Denton County municipalities will have three options from which to choose how or whether they receive funds, according to a news release from the county. The options include allotting funds at $55 per capita, allowing for supply requests without funding upfront or a combination of providing supply requests and allowing for reimbursements of expenses incurred as related to COVID-19 with documentation and receipts.
“We understand that some of our smaller municipalities may have limited staff and capability to provide support for their residents and businesses, which is why we have earmarked funds specifically for COVID-19 relief in terms of food, business grants, rental relief and non-profit support,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads.
In addition, the Commissioners Court approved a general outline for how the funds will be earmarked moving forward along with an estimate of current expenditures incurred by the county:
- $45M to be reserved for or distributed to municipalities at $55 per capita (excludes Fort Worth and Dallas)
- $24M allocated for local business grants (includes $2.2M in existing business grant program)
- $20M for housing assistance program
- $10M for food programs
- $6M estimated expenditures to date on COVID-19
- $2M to support local nonprofit efforts
- $40M for the county’s ongoing expenses, personal protection equipment and public health
“Denton County CARES will enable us to support our county residents and businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Eads said. “We believe it is vitally important to ensure Denton County can recover as quickly as possible to continue to be among the best places to live, work and play in the state and across the country.”
As part of this effort, the Commissioners Court unveiled Denton County CARES (Coalition of Agencies to Restore Essential Services) to help easily identify the different elements of the program.
Denton County CARES also is in memoriam to Gene Gumfory, a longtime Denton County businessman and philanthropist who gave generously of his time and money to support many programs over the years.
“We are honored to name this program in his honor as Gene has long been known for his compassion and selfless giving,” said Judge Eads. “In light of his recent passing, now seemed the appropriate time to honor his memory.”
More details about each segment of the Denton County CARES program will be released in the coming weeks, according to the county.