CARES Act Information For Utilities (July 10, 2020, courtesy of Missouri Public Utilities Association)
FEMA Releases Guidance on Federal Cost Share for Public Assistance Program
On July 2, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released clear guidance on how FEMA will treat the multiple sources of funding as they relate to the public assistance program and its cost share requirements.
U.S. Treasury Releases Updated CARES Fund FAQs
On June 24, 2020, the U.S. Treasury released an updated Coronavirus Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions. The updated FAQ provides that CAREs funds can be used to cover match funds from FEMA Covid grants. The guidance also attempts to clarify whether CAREs funds may cover personnel costs even if those expenses were already budgeted. The FAQ states that if the duties performed are “substantially different” from the duties envisioned under the budget they may be covered. For example, it suggests that personnel costs for police who are enforcing stay-at-home order or redeploying corrections facility staff to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions through work such as enhanced sanitation or enforcing social distancing measures social distancing may be covered.
U.S. Treasury Issues New Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance
On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department released new guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) in the CARES Act.
The new guidance says initial guidance released on April 22, 2020, provided that the cost of an expenditure is incurred when the recipient has expended funds to cover the cost. Upon further consideration and informed by an understanding of State, local, and tribal government practices, Treasury is clarifying that for a cost to be considered to have been incurred, performance or delivery must occur during the covered period but payment of funds need not be made during that time (though it is generally expected that this will take place within 90 days of a cost being incurred).
Treasury’s new guidance helps increase the flexibility of CRF funds to make them easier for local governments to use. However, the National League of Cities and the Missouri Municipal League is still pushing for direct appropriations for all local governments.
Missouri Small Community Working Capital Relief Loan Program
The Missouri Small Community Working Capital Relief Loan Program, distributed by the Missouri Development Finance Board, is designed to provide any Missouri city with a population of less than 25,000 access to an interim working capital operating loan to address projected General Fund or city-owned utility enterprise fund shortfalls due to COVID-19. The loans are being offered to assist cities in the maintenance of essential governmental services. All loan proceeds must be used to replace tax, license, fees or other governmental revenues that have been lost due to COVID-19. Loan proceeds will be provided by the Board to the city’s General Fund. Borrowers may keep the proceeds in its General Fund, or transfer part or all proceeds to city-owned utility enterprise funds. Applications must be received by Aug. 31, 2020. Learn more and apply.
Treasurer Fitzpatrick Conference Call
Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick recently held a conference call June 19, 2020, with more than 170 Missouri county government leaders and the U.S. Treasury Department to provide guidance and best practices to local governments to effectively use their CARES Act funding. Office of Administration Director of Accounting Stacy Neal and Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon also participated. The call was recorded and available for replay on the Treasurer’s website. Municipal officials interested in how CAREs funds may be used may find the call of interest. Information about the CARES Act and the working group can be found at treasurer.mo.gov/COVID.
CARES Act Funds Have Been Distributed to Counties
The Missouri Municipal League encourages municipalities to reach out to your county commissioners to discuss funding needs and allocation. To see more on how federal COVID-19 funds are being disbursed, visit the state treasurers dashboard.
Learn what help is available to state, local, tribal & territorial governments and how to get financial reimbursement from FEMA.
County CARES Act Distribution Process and Application Example
At the end of April most counties in Missouri received information and guidance from the office of the Missouri State Treasurer regarding the distribution of CARES Act funds from the State of Missouri. Callaway County has made an application available to request CARES Act funds. Initially, for the first round of funding, local governments, non-profit organizations, and small businesses will be eligible to submit an application. Applications for the first round of funding must be based on requests for reimbursement of eligible expenses or costs already incurred during the period March 1 through May 31, 2020 and must satisfy the requirements of the CARES Act and Treasury guidance. Requests for reimbursement of standard rent expenses, utilities, or revenue loss will not be awarded. Payroll expenses will only be considered for reimbursement if the employees’ work duties were substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID19 public health emergency; this would include first responders, public health employees, etc. Applicants will be required to submit sufficient supporting documentation such as invoices, receipts, and proof of payment. The County is allocating 37.14% of the CARES Act funds for the first round of award decisions. The County anticipates making award decisions by the first week of July, 2020. The County worked closely with the municipalities in the county and also employed the Central Missouri Community Action Network to help distribute funds. The Missouri Municipal League encourages municipalities to work with and communicate with their county commissioners in the distribution of these CARES Act Funds.
Updated Rural Development Programs
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions and more. View document on today's program updates.
New Guide on Disaster Financial Management
See our new Disaster Financial Management Guide and an accompanying Fact Sheet which can help partners navigate financial complexities they will be facing in the coming months due to COVID-19.
FEMA Strategic and Operational Planning
Disaster financial Management Guide Fact Sheet
FEMA Region 7 Update (May 19, 2020)
FEMA has obligated nearly $1.8 million to the State of Missouri on behalf of the City of St. Louis to help reimburse eligible expenses for emergency protective measures that the City has incurred as a result of its response to COVID-19. The money reimburses 75 percent of eligible costs associated with buying essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and medical supplies and equipment, as well as overtime costs for first responders.
12 members of AmeriCorps St. Louis are working in multiple capacities to help support public and non-profit organizations in St. Louis and Kansas City that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
- In St. Louis, team members are helping with outreach services to the unhoused population, partnering with The Salvation Army to assist with food delivery distribution, and disseminating COVID-19 related information, including the locations of testing sites in the area.
- In the Kansas City metro area, team members are helping with donations management and supporting volunteer intake and registration for the Medical Reserve Corps that serves the nine-county KC metro. The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety and resiliency of their communities.
- FEMA tasked the team to provide the assistance through its parent organization, the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Missouri Treasurer’s office has released a spreadsheet showing how funding for the Federal CARES act will be allocated to Missouri Local Governments. Missouri received $2.3 billion. Of this, St. Louis County ($173 million) and Jackson County ($122 million) were guaranteed funding as entities with a population over 500k. Twenty-five percent of the remaining funds totaling $520 million is to be distributed to Missouri counties. The CARES act specifically states that entities receiving funds may pass through these monies to political subdivisions within their jurisdiction. The act further specifies that unused funds must be returned to the U.S. Treasury. Missouri cities are encouraged to contact their county government regarding CARES funding.
While the CARES Act funds cannot be used to help cities make up for lost revenue, there are a few items allowed that could be useful for cities:
- Payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Expenses to improve telework capabilities for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.
- Expenses of providing paid sick and paid family and medical leave to public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.
- Expenses for care for homeless populations provided to mitigate COVID-19 effects and enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.
- Expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
U.S. Treasury CAREs Resource page for State and Local Gov
Mo. Treasurer's CAREs Act Funding Page
CARES Act Practical Guidance (Circular #8) from Lauber Municipal Law, LLC
FEMA Request for Public Assistance Form Extended
Now is the time to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) in case your municipality might be eligible to receive FEMA money related to COVID 19 now or in the upcoming months. The RPA deadline is nationally extended and will remain open for the duration of the Public Health Emergency and the foreseeable future, unless an earlier deadline is deemed appropriat.
Please check and see if your municipality has already filled out this form and make sure not to fill it out again.
are two ways to fill out the form. (To fill out this form you will need 1) Federal Tax ID # - FEIN, 2) Dun and Bradstreet # - DUNS # and 3) PA ID # - FIPS #):
1. Set up your Grants Portal account and request an RPA digitally or
2. Print and fill out form. (email back to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Filling out this form does not lock a municipality into participating in this program but once the date closes, it is difficult to get into the system.Municipalities are considered eligible in this instance and all counties are automatically eligible as it relates to this disaster declaration (DR 4490).
The funds can only be used for Emergency Protective Measures *(Category B) which include but are not limited to:
• Eliminate immediate threats to lives or public health or safety.
• Eliminate immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property.
*Examples include: COVID-19 response and supplies, temporary staffing, sheltering, security, etc.
In order to get reimbursed for these items, code all appropriate expenses to COVID-19. These are separate from normal everyday costs and other federal funds you may receive.
There are also two types of projects: Small – a project that costs more than $3,300 but less than $131,100 and Large – a project that costs more than $131,100. CDBG can cover the non-federal share of a project, where 75% of a project can funded with federal funds and 25% from non-federal funds
For more information, please see the SEMA News Release,theSEMA Public Assistance Informationand Videoand the contact information for yourSEMA Team Member.
FEMA Updates (April 15, 2020)
- FEMA modified the Homeland Security Grant Program Application Requirements as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. FEMA is allowing recipients awards at the "high end" of their target allocations. In addition, the deadline for the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative applicants submitting complete project-level information has been extended to December 2020 instead of including them with the application materials on April 30, 2020. FEMA will evaluate the effectiveness of projects submitted in the December 2020 report but will not reduce this year's awards based on this effectiveness review. Any questions regarding the modification can be directed to FEMA Headquarters Preparedness Officers or the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk or
by calling (800) 368-6498, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
- The Federal Aviation Administration provide a document, which is attached, on how $10 billion from the CARES Act will be distributed by state and specific airports. Additional information is being posted at www.faa.gov/airports/cares_act.
Missouri Department of Economic Development
$13.6 Million in Community Development Block Grant Funds Now Available
The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced that it will receive $13.6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to support Missouri’s
COVID-19 response efforts.
The CDBG funds are part of over $57.7 million of HUD grants allocated to the State and individual communities. In addition to CDBG, the grants also include $19 million for the Emergency
Solutions Grant program and $720,000 for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program. The State’s $13.6 million CDBG allocation will be allocated to non-entitlement areas across the state, which include incorporated
municipalities under 50,000 and counties under 200,000 in population.