Julia Johnson | Staff Intern
The federal government allocated South Dakota just over $141 million to assist with COVID-19 related issues, with Parker in particular allotted $231,276.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March created a Coronavirus Relief Fund in order to help state and local governments deal with the pandemic effectively.
The money goes towards anything related to or affected by COVID-19—a claim that doesn’t go without many hoops to jump through.
“Because of the limitations set forth for the program, the purchases need to be directly related to COVID. We can not be reimbursed for just anything,” Finance Officer Adam Jans said.
Although Parker has been allotted this money, the town doesn’t actually receive any funds until money’s spent.
So far, the city’s only spent $58,700. This has mostly been technology for the city council to go virtual, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), reimbursed the town’s sheriff and installed showers for the ambulance bay. Jans predicts they will use about $100,000 overall of the full amount.
However, the reimbursement grant means that he can’t request money before purchasing items; he has to buy the items first and then hope that the expenses will be covered, not the other way around.
Jans said in an email that the “covid funds” are a misconception to most.
“Even if a purchase is approved by the state as a reimbursable expense, when the state gets audited by the feds, if in fact they deem the purchases not necessary or reasonable, the cities and counties will be directed to send the money back.”
All expenses can occur up until Thursday, Dec. 31, where the aid will most likely go back to the state itself.