BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County has finalized the distribution of some $1.6 million it received in CARES Act funds, County Manager Harry Burgess told Council members during their regular meeting Tuesday evening.
The County received roughly $1 million for businesses and roughly $600,000 for individual grants, Burgess said. He noted that the County went through the process of administering and distributing those monies and had funds left over after the first round of individual grants funds.
“We requested the potential to transfer monies between the two funds so that we could more efficiently distribute the monies. Initially that was denied but later as the state became concerned about people turning monies back in, they did authorize us to do so and given the short suspense, because this all had to be completed by the end of this month, we did a second round of individual requests and awarded those,” he said.
Burgess said some of the grants went specifically to the Department of Public Utilities for overdue bills, however once the County was allowed to transfer there was approximately $900,000 of unmet need from the first round of allocations and approximately $450,000 rollover money.
“So given that short suspense date, we looked back at those original applications and were able to distribute the remainder of that money to those existing businesses. We got approximately 67 applications from businesses and if I recall roughly 15 or so were denied but the remaining 50 to 53 or so actually received significant amounts of money and we were happy to distribute that within the community,” Burgess said. “Our goal was, and what the state wanted us to do was not turn that money back in. So there were some minor issues with applications and the amount requested where we had approximately $1,500 left over after all that exercise.”
He said the County contacted Los Alamos Public Schools because they were an eligible entity to receive funds and reimbursed them for a very small portion of the computers they bought to facilitate online learning during the last semester.
“We did fully expend those monies with that minor remainder going to the schools just to round out the final portion of our grants that were available,” Burgess said.