On March 27, Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund and appropriated $150 billion to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Under the CARES Act, the funds are to be used to make payments for specified uses based on the requirements of the CARES Act and U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance. Generally, the CARES Act provides that payments may only be used to cover costs that: 1. are necessary expenditures incurred because of the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19; 2. were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27 for the government; and 3. were incurred during the period that begins March 1 and ends Dec. 30, 2020.

Expenditures must be used for actions taken to respond to the public health emergency. Funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue to cover expenditures that would not otherwise qualify under the CARES Act. Expenditures using CARES Act fund payments must be reasonably necessary. For further information, refer to the guidance issued by the Treasury Department on April 22 and May 4.

On April 28, Dallas County received information and guidance from the office of the Missouri state treasurer regarding the distribution of CARES Act funds from the state of Missouri to Dallas County. After approving and returning a certification for payment to the state of Missouri, on May 6, Dallas County received $1,980,126.

Over the course of the past three weeks, Dallas County has reviewed the requirements of the CARES Act and the guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury and has been working to identify community priorities and develop an application process to allow applicants to request CARES Act funds and make award decisions for the use of funds.

The county is making an application available to request CARES Act funds. Initially, for the first round of funding, local governments and nonprofits 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 and must satisfy the requirements of the CARES Act and Treasury Department guidance. Applicants will be required to submit sufficient supporting documentation, such as invoices, receipts and proof of payment.

Applications for the first round of funding are due July 10. The county will then review and evaluate the applications for completeness (including supporting documentation), and compliance with the CARES Act requirements and Treasury Department guidance, and anticipates making award decisions by the last week in July. Award recipients will be required to enter into a written agreement with the county prior to the disbursement of awarded funds.

The application is available at the Dallas County clerk’s office. Questions regarding the application process may be directed to Dallas County Clerk Stephanie Hendricks at (417) 345-2632.

Depending upon the number of applications received and amount of funds awarded in the first round of funding, the county anticipates potential additional rounds of funding.

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