County preps for CARES Act disbursement
September 23, 2020
Quay County businesses, nonprofit organizations and civic groups should know by Friday how to apply for reimbursement of their COVID-19 expenses.
The county recently was authorized to receive to $372,750 from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to cover those entities’ expenses during coronavirus pandemic.
County manager Richard Primrose and other officials throughout the state watched a videoconference Wednesday hosted by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration that clarified some details about disbursing the money and how entities should apply for it.
Primrose said the county has to finish some paperwork with the state before setting up a framework to disburse the federal funds to varying entities.
He said the webinar helped clarify what expenses would be eligible.
“It’s pretty much money that pertains to whatever expenses you incurred based on the COVID,” he said. “Expenses such as the glass shields, the PPE, the temporary structures restaurants had to buy for outdoor dining … those are eligible. You can’t use it for lost revenue.”
Primrose said he also wants to consult with officials this week from Tucumcari MainStreet, Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. and the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce on the upcoming effort.
“We want them to help me get the word out and set the criteria we need so that every business that wants to apply for this can,” he said.
Once the framework for applications is set up, Primrose said he wants businesses and other entities to apply for the money “so soon as we can, because they can use the funding.”
Primrose noted such entities that incur COVID-related expenses up to Dec. 31 can be reimbursed if money still is left from that fund by that time. Those late-year requests will be accepted through January.
Primrose acknowledged, however, the possibility the $372,000 would be gone before the end of the year.
“If there isn’t (money), that’s good. That means we spent it all,” he said. “If we get the money back to them well before then, that would be nice. The sooner we can get the money rolled out, the better.”
One complication is reimbursement requests will have to be divvied up between which fiscal year they occurred, he said. The previous fiscal year ended June 30.
Primrose said once the application framework is set up, the county will use social media and other means to publicize it.
“We’re going to try to get the word out everywhere so that anyone who wants to apply can,” he said.
Quay County itself also received $152,550 in CARES Act money to cover its own COVID-19 expenditures.