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Blair allocates CARES funds

AMED receives $1.5 million in aid; all applicants received some level of funding

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Eight local governments or governmental agencies will collectively receive as much as $2.23 million to offset their COVID-19 related expenses.

Blair County commissioners on Wednesday approved a listing of recipients and maximum grants to be afforded with part of the $11 million allocation to Blair County from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Based on a unanimous vote by commissioners Bruce Erb, Laura Burke and Amy Webster, funds will be distributed as follows, after submission of all required documents:

* AMED — $1.5 million.

* Logan Township — $622,280.

* Greenfield Township — $73,604.

* Central Blair Recreation Commission — $20,933.

* Frankstown Township — $13,500.

* Hollidaysburg Borough — $8,450.

* Blair County Conservation District — $2,359.

* Penn Highlands Community College — $1,030.

While the designated amounts add up to $2.24 million, exceeding the $2.23 million allocation by $8,402, the difference may be covered with money from other CARES grant categories if it becomes available to transfer, County Administrator Nicole Hemminger said. The county is funding up to the amounts listed on the meeting agenda, she said.

Commissioners also acknowledged that applicants in this category were subject to a cap of $1.5 million toward reimbursement of their COVID-19 planning and response expenses. That cap was applied to AMED, which requested more than $1.5 million for reimbursement of COVID-19 response and planning expenses.

Expenses qualifying for reimbursement include personal protective equipment, technology upgrades and workspace partitions, Hemminger said in naming examples acceptable to the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Commissioner Bruce Erb also asked Hemminger about additional applicants or applications.

“There were no other applications received,” she said.

Municipalities were ad­­vised of the available grants by email. The county also held a meeting to help potential applicants understand the process.

“We have funded every grant application received,” Hemminger said.

The commissioners’ action Wednesday follows their action taken last week, when they voted in favor of distributing up to $2.8 million to 89 small businesses and up to $526,402 to 34 nonprofits to help them with expenses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, the commissioners voted to allocate $233,365 in CARES money toward a broadband expansion access project and $196,000 for electronic door monitors at the Blair County Courthouse. The monitors are supposed to help identify employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Of the $11 million allocation, the commissioners have designated $5 million toward county costs for “direct response, planning and outreach efforts, including the purchase of personal protective equipment.”

An accounting of those expenditures, which can be made through Dec. 30, is not available.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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