KGB to discuss remaining CARES Act funding distribution

    Ketchikan, Alaska (KINY) - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will discuss the distribution of the remaining CARES Act money on Monday night.

    According to borough documents, staff has recommended motions to either allocate $500,000 to the Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program or instead to allocate $500,000 to the Business Grants Program.

    Another motion would direct staff to allocate any remaining funds, including balances left from other CARES Act programs as they close, to reimbursement of the Borough's eligible expenses, with the first priority being direct expenses and the second priority being reimbursement of first responder wages in the North and South Tongass Service Areas.

    As of Nov. 10, 1,060 grants for rent and mortgage have been awarded. The total value of grants awarded to date is $1,237,989, with an average grant award of $1,168.

    The available balance in the program is $262,011. Based on monthly averages, the current balance will be insufficient to fund all the requests anticipated through December.

    As of Nov. 10, 213 grant applications have been approved for Round 1 of the program. The total value of grants awarded is $3,757,251, for an average grant of $17,639.

    To date, more than 200 Round 2 grant applications have been received and deemed eligible. Funding available for Round 2, including the City of Ketchikan's contribution of $1,480,000, is $3,242,749.

    The application period closes on Nov. 20.

    On Sept. 8, the Assembly authorized the allocation of $335,099 as reimbursement of Borough expenses.

    Examples of the Borough's expenses include extra cleaning and disinfecting, unemployment paid to laid-off workers, technology costs to facilitate remote meetings and employees working from home, wages paid to a temporary employee hired to assist with CARES Act grant programs, and first responder wages in North and South Tongass Service Areas from approximately March 15 to June 30.

    As of Nov. 10, actual Borough expenses have been $341,826, or $6,727 more than originally estimated. In addition, certain minor expenditures have been found to be ineligible for FEMA reimbursement, but they are CARES Act eligible.  

    In order to ensure the full utilization of CARES Act funds, the Finance Director has asked the Assembly to allocate, as reimbursement of Borough expense, all of the remaining CARES Act funds ($65,695) plus any funds that may be leftover from other programs as they close. 

    The funds would be applied first to Borough expenses, then to first responder wages in the North and South Tongass Service Areas.

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