The Adams County Board heard Tuesday night that the county is going to receive a little more than $12.7 million in federal COVID relief funds.
County Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin said the County should receive half of the money ($6.355 million) in a few weeks and the other half in a year. Austin said federal law requires the money must be spent by the and of 2024.
County Board members will receive a document from County Clerk Ryan Niekamp that will outline the guidelines for how the money can be spent. Some of the eligible items include public health, essential workers, infrastructure, tourism, economic development, public assistance, local micro-stimulus checks, broadband and reimbursements for expenses incurred by COVID relief efforts.
It cannot be used to pay for pensions or to reduce debt.
The County is already working on many capital expenses, including new elevators and insulation in the courthouse and a new HVAC system for the Adams County Health Department.
Speaking of the Health Department, that facility will soon be hosting COVID vaccinations as that operation vacates the Oakley-Lindsay Center. County Board Chairman Kent Snider said about 70 percent of County residents have been vaccinated and anyone 16 or older is eligible to receive a vaccine.
In other news, Travis Cooley was appointed to fill the vacancy in District 4 created by the resignation of Republican Barney Bier. Bier resigned after he was removed from his County Board appointments following Bier’s questioning of the County’s authority to issue a contract to former Director of Administrative Services Sue Hester. Bier, a former State’s Attorney, contended that as Chairman, Snider did not have the sole authority to issue contracts as those have to have approval by the full County Board.
Hester resigned from her post, but recently accepted an administrative position with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.