CARTERET COUNTY — Local governments are slated to receive millions in coronavirus relief funds thanks to the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package this week, with Carteret County expecting nearly $13.5 million, in addition to funds for each of the 11 municipalities.
President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law Thursday, the day of the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. In addition to $1,400 direct stimulus payments to individuals, as well as funds for education, food and rent assistance and numerous other provisions, the bill contains about $350 billion for state and local governments.
North Carolina is scheduled to receive about $9 billion of that for counties and municipalities, according to reports, which breaks down to $5.2 billion for state government functions, $672 million for metro cities, $682 million for other non-county governments and $2 billion for county governments. There’s also funds dedicated to capital projects.
According to estimates compiled by Congressional staff based on 2019 Census population data, the following municipalities in Carteret County are expected to receive funds, with anticipated first allocation by Thursday, June 15, as follows:
- Atlantic Beach: $440,000, $220,000.
- Beaufort: $1,300,000, $650,000.
- Bogue: $210,000, $105,000.
- Cape Carteret: $600,000, $300,000.
- Cedar Point: $380,000, $190,000.
- Emerald Isle: $1,080,000, $540,000.
- Indian Beach: $30,000, $15,000.
- Morehead City: $2,810,000, $1,405,000.
- Newport: $1,340,000, $670,000.
- Peletier: $210,000, $105,000.
- Pine Knoll Shores: $390,000, $195,000.
Carteret County government is projected to receive $13.47 million.
County Finance Director Dee Meshaw told the News-Times the funding amounts for county and local governments are preliminary and subject to change, adding that little information has been provided to local governments regarding how the funds may be used, so far. She said based on information from the National Association of County Commissioners, funding will be distributed over two years, with 50% given out in year one and the remaining 50% in year two, no sooner than 365 days from the first distribution.
County and local governments previously received funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a nearly $2 trillion bill that was passed in March 2020 to provide relief to a variety of sectors in response to the pandemic. Carteret County received about $2.7 million in CARES funds, of which $680,000 was distributed proportionally to municipalities based on population.
The CARES Act funds were subject to numerous requirements, with local governments allowed to spend them on medical or public health expenses, payroll costs, items that facilitate compliance with COVID-related safety measures and a few other spending categories. Many of the county’s municipalities used their share of the funds to upgrade technology to better facilitate public meetings and employees working from home.
Contact Elise Clouser at [email protected]; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.