Wheeler Commissioners Debate Coronavirus Relief Funds
Funds being made available to various government entities through the Coronavirus Relief Fund came under scrutiny at the Wheeler County Commission’s August 3 meeting.
Accepting $60,000 for which Wheeler County is eligible would mean that the cCmmission must enact the Georgia Cares Act Agreement. The agreement would make funds available immediately but would require documentation proving the money was used for costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic. An additional $201,000 is available if the county can prove a need. Per the Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments Updated June 30, 2020: “The CARES Act provides that payments from the fund may only be used to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID– 19); 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 were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.”
Chairman Keith McNeal said, “I don’t see where we are going to have a lot of stuff that we are going to be able to apply for. You are going to have to justify everything.” He continued, “We are going to look into it, but I just don’t want to apply for something that we just have to turn around and pay back.” Commissioner Rochelle Culver said, “We really don’t know what the impact is going to be once school starts.”
Ultimately, the board decided that it would consider applying for the funding once County Attorney Perry Avery has looked over the language of the agreement and rendered an opinion. The board also discussed the Convenience Centers that will replace the dumpsters currently used for trash collection. One site is ready for the fencing to go up, and the county is continuing to look for additional sites. McNeal said the county is hoping to eventually establish five or six sites. Locations in the Springhill, Glenwood and Landsburg areas are being considered. The board appointed Ray White and Tucker Dixon to the Wheeler County Recreation Commission, with terms beginning August 10.