By Tia Lynn Ivey
Morgan County and each municipality are poised to receive over $1 million in relief funds from the State of Georgia to help recuperate costs and losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia Governor Kemp announced Monday that about $1.2 billion in relief funds would be distributed to every county and city across the state. Morgan County and each city’s share of those funds amounts to $1,009,055. Statewide, roughly $1.2 billion in relief funds will distributed.
According to the Governor’s Office, Morgan County will receive $714,337, The City of Madison will receive $220,384, the City of Rutledge will receive $44,077, the City of Bostwick will receive $20,677, and the Town of Buckhead will receive $9,580.
According to County Manager Adam Mestres, the state awarded these fund amounts based on population.
“They have been awarded and we do not have to apply for them,” said Mestres. “I just found out yesterday, but do not have a lot of information as of yet. We do not know when we will receive these funds. Every city and every county in the state is being awarded relief funds, specifically to deal with any expenses the county took on due to COVID-19.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, local governments across the state have incurred unexpected expenses and have lost revenue.
According to Mestres, the county fronted the cost for masks, separation partitions, and extra sanitization supplies in order to protect their employees and the public from the spread of the coronavirus.
“We purchased M-95 masks to have on hour for our staff and employees as needed,” said Mestres. “We put up screening partition to every department that requested it—in the Tax Commissioners Office, the Tax Assessors Office, Planning and Development Office, the probate court, the magistrate court, the 4-H office and so on.”
“We did this to help both our employees and the public stay safe during the pandemic and to reduce the spread of the virus in our community,” said Mestres. “All that cost money and we also lost revenue from the business shutdowns. It definitely created an economic impact on the county government, too,” explained Mestres.
Mestres is grateful for the relief funds to help offset the unforeseen expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The relief funds from the state being passed on to us will help Morgan County with the unexpected expenses that we had to incur as a result of COVID-19. This allows the county to avoid utilizing contingency funding for these emergency expenses.”