Collier County
FL

Action Item
12689

Recommendation that the Board of County Commissioners enter into a funding agreement with the Florida Department of Emergency Management for Coronavirus Relief Act funds allocated to Collier County, authorize the County Manager or designee to execute any sub-award agreements and payment requests necessary to distribute reimbursement for expenses to eligible parties, authorize necessary budget amendments to carry out distribution of funds, authorize up to eight (8) temporary, full-time employees to administer the program, and provide direction on a staff plan for the distribution of funds; and approve all necessary budget amendments. (Sean Callahan, Executive Director, Corporate Business Operations)

Information

Department:County Manager's OfficeSponsors:
Category:11 County Manager's Report

Executive Summary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Recommendation that the Board of County Commissioners enter into a funding agreement with the Florida Department of Emergency Management for Coronavirus Relief Act funds allocated to Collier County, authorize the County Manager or designee to execute any sub-award agreements and payment requests necessary to distribute reimbursement for expenses to eligible parties, authorize necessary budget amendments to carry out distribution of funds, authorize up to eight (8) temporary, full-time employees to administer the program, and provide direction on a staff plan for the distribution of funds; and approve all necessary budget amendments.

 

 

OBJECTIVE: To provide recommendations and direction on administration of the Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation to Collier County.

 

CONSIDERATIONS: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act included a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (“Fund”) to provide payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Direct appropriations were made to counties and municipalities with populations over 500,000 people, with the remainder of funding being transferred to the State of Florida.

On Wednesday, June 16, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s plan to distribute $1.275 billion in CARES Act funds to counties with a population below 500,000. Counties are required to sign an agreement with the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) to receive a distribution of the first 25% of each county’s allocated funds. Counties may also submit requests to FDEM for additional funds in excess of their 25% initial disbursement on a reimbursement basis for expenditures eligible under the CARES Act.

Payments from the fund may be made available to cover costs that -

 

1.              are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19;

2.              were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government, and;

3.              were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

 

The full U.S. Treasury guidance for expenditure of funds is attached as an addendum to this Executive Summary.

 

Collier County’s initial 25% allocation of funding is $16,790,608. Through Governor DeSantis’ announcement and guidance provided by the U.S. Treasury, Counties should provide funds to municipalities located within their jurisdiction on a reimbursement basis, and are eligible to enter agreements with other government entities within its jurisdiction.

As such, staff will work internally to capture incurred and future expenses for the County Manager’s Agency and with Municipalities, Constitutional Officers and other eligible government entities for the remainder of the calendar year to submit for reimbursement. Staff will pursue subrecipient agreements with these parties that outline the terms for reimbursement. All eligible expenses will be subject to Federal single audit requirements and cannot be reimbursable under other Federal programs.

 

In addition, following accounting for eligible expenditures from County and other governmental entities, staff recommends reserving a portion of funding for deployment of individual, family, and business grants to help speed recovery and fill gaps in assistance that has been provided to date. Examples of these programs can include, but are not limited to:

 

Individual Rental, Mortgage, and Utilities Payment Assistance

 

Collier County currently has an agreement with the United Way of Collier and the Keys to administer housing assistance provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Applicants must be income-qualified and cannot exceed 120% Area Median Income. Any individual or family not eligible to meet this criterion could be referred to the County portal for funding from the CARES Act. Payments will be made directly to a landlord, mortgage company or utility company and applicants will have to have had a loss of employment or reduced work hours.

 

Small Business Relaunch Grants

 

A one-time grant intended to offset unintended costs of reopening or relaunching as our economy slowly reopens. Costs must have been incurred by required closures under State Executive Order, and may not have been covered by insurance or any other Federal programs. Eligibility will be determined by the following suggested criterion:

 

·              25 or fewer employees

·              Business owner a Collier resident

·              Active business tax license and state registration

·              Signed waiver certifying no duplication of benefits

 

Food Security Emergency Assistance

 

Food banks and pantries have incurred extraordinary costs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. One-time grants will be made to assist with increased costs due to food purchases, additional staff hired, and/or additional rental space necessary.

 

Implementation of a program of this magnitude requires additional staff to oversee and administer the compliance of funds. In addition to the administrative accounting and processing for internal costs and formulating interlocal and sub-award agreements for eligible entities seeking reimbursement, high demand is expected for any external assistance programs that are implemented. Since activating a similar program last month to the one proposed above, Lee County has received over 10,000 applications for assistance following their direct appropriation of funds.

 

In addition to the projected $67 million allocation, other COVID-19 related grant funding has been distributed to Collier County. As such, eight (8) temporary full-time employees are being proposed as a task force for the administration of this program and other COVID-19 related awards. Payroll expenses for employees whose services are necessary to administer and account for this program are fully reimbursable, and will be used to expedite and track any payments and compliance measures necessary and will only be necessary for the time period that funding is available. The team will be composed of up to eight temporary, full-time employees based on demand:

             

·              (3) Grant Support Specialists

·              (2) Grant Coordinators

·              (2) Accountants

·              (1) Accounting Technician

 

Following completion of the availability of COVID-19 related grant funds of this grant, these positions will be eliminated. Due to the impossibility for staff to know every expenditure that will be incurred for the rest of the calendar year, staff will make a monthly report of expenditures and any new subrecipient agreements entered available to the Board at the first available meeting for ratification.

 

FISCAL IMPACT: The total CARES Act allocation for the County is anticipated to be $67,162,432 based on the initial 25% advance of $16,790,608 made available to Collier County upon an executed agreement with FDEM. Once the advance is expended on eligible expenditures, staff will submit reimbursement requests to FDEM for the remaining allocation of the CARES Act funds.  

 

Funding will be made available within the Human Services Grant Fund (707), Project 33699 unless otherwise determined to administer funds effectively. Staff will distribute funds for eligible expenditures in accordance with the CARES Act and related guidance.

 

Under the received guidance, 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 are fully reimbursable expenses. Therefore, there is no fiscal impact associated with the temporary employees authorized by this Executive Summary.

 

Other expenses incurred by the County and associated with the administration of this agreement will be accounted for and are expected to be fully reimbursable. A list of eligible expenses and full U.S. Treasury guidance is attached as an addendum to this Executive Summary.

 

Budget amendment authorization for the full amount of this award projection which is currently $67 million is requested in order to set up required budget on a timely basis, manage all project expenditures in the accounting system, provide for prompt draw reimbursement requests and manage single audit compliance.

 

GROWTH MANAGEMENT IMPACT: There is no growth management impact.

 

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS: This item has been reviewed by the County Attorney, is approved as to form and legality and requires a majority vote for approval.  -JAK

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of County Commissioners enter into a funding agreement with the Florida Department of Emergency Management for Coronavirus Relief Act funds allocated to Collier County, authorize the County Manager or designee to execute any sub-award agreements and payment requests necessary to distribute reimbursement for expenses to eligible parties, authorize necessary budget amendments to carry out distribution of funds, authorize up to eight (8) temporary, full-time employees to administer the program, and provide direction on a staff plan for the distribution of funds; and authorize all necessary budget amendments.

 

Prepared By: Sean Callahan, Executive Director, Corporate Business Operations

Discussion