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Palm Beach County cities have until Dec. 1 to apply for coronavirus reimbursements

Cities can receive money for testing, PPE, technology
Posted at 12:46 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 17:41:31-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Cities in Palm Beach County have until Dec. 1 to apply for reimbursement on items and testing equipment they have bought this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

County officials sent out the details Friday related to the Municipal CARES ACT Reimbursement Program.

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Cities across the county have been asking for months to be reimbursed for money they have spent battling the pandemic.

Multiple city officials sent a letter in June to Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner to recoup costs this year.

In June, Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson said his city had already spent more than $2 million on COVID-related supplies and personal protective equipment.

"We are spending out of pocket, out of our general fund or out of our reserves in order to address the COVID situation," Thomson said.

Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson
Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson asked Palm Beach County officials in June for reimbursement from items spent on the pandemic.

Ed Chase, Palm Beach County's director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Community Engagement, said to be eligible, cities must not have previously received reimbursement from the CARES Act for the expenditures nor received grant funds or donations for the items.

Thomson said Boca Raton can apply for about $1 million in added expenses from COVID-19.

In May, the county said they were given $261 million related to the federal government's CARES Act.

County officials said Monday they still have $88 million in CARES Act money available to assist cities.

Delray Beach commissioner Ryan Boylston said they have already had to deal with a budget shortfall and help from the county is needed.

"If you want to know how important a couple [of] million dollars can be, it can be the difference in balancing your budget," Boylston said. "We need the help, and that help has to come from above."

Ryan Boylston
Delray Beach Commissioner Ryan Boylston said the money from the county through the CARES Act is important to help balance the city's budget.

Thomson said COVID-19 will continue to impact city budgets and relief from the county will help taxpayers not make up for the losses.

"Money saved now in the form of reimbursement by our friends at the county will be very helpful to help allow that money to be freed up next year," said Thomson.

Items that cities can apply for reimbursement include:

* Testing:

  • Testing Kits
  • Infrastructure related to testing locations

* Public Information:

  • Signage for indoor security, sanitization and social distancing guidelines
  • Signage for facility and park closures, electronic signage
  • Rental items for closure instruction and security; signage, barricades and barriers

First-responder PPE, testing or other non-reimbursable items first-responder PPE, testing or other non-reimbursable items

* Safety Equipment:

  • Touchless conversion equipment
  • Plexiglas dividers and installation
  • Disinfectant sprayers and fogger equipment and supplies

* PPE:

  • Masks, gloves
  • Sanitizer, sanitizer stations, wipes
  • Face shields
  • First-responder PPE, testing or other eligible items

* Technology:

  • Laptops and printers purchased for remote employee workstations related directly to COVID-19
  • Monitors, screens and other equipment used remotely or for social distancing at facilities
  • VPN expenses for remote workers
  • Zoom, WebEx and other licenses purchased specifically for virtual public meeting use