Supervisors approve CARES Act expenses

The Patrick County Board of Supervisors held a special called meeting last week.

By Taylor Boyd

The Patrick County Board of Supervisors held a special called meeting on Oct. 23 to discuss a number of issues related to CARES Act funding.

The board also approved several expenses, among them:

* A Non-profit and Agricultural Grant Program by the Patrick County Economic Development Authority (EDA). Applications are being accepted through Nov. 19. Applicants could receive up to $5,000.

Donna Shough, finance officer, said the EDA recommended $150,000 be allocated for non-profits and $100,000 for agricultural entities.

Churches would qualify for the grant program, as long as it is not a replacement for lost revenue, she added.

“We would have to handle it the same way as we would the small business grants through the EDA,” Shough said, and added the funds would have to be used to pay for what the churches are already not able to pay for like pastor salaries or utilities, she said.

Dr. Clyde DeLoach, of the Blue Ridge District, said more funds than the amount recommended could be spent, depending on the amount of applicants. “If we have 80 churches applying for the $5,000, it could be around $400,000 for non-profits.”

Denise Stirewalt, of the Peters Creek District, said “the EDA does not foresee spending anything near their recommendation. Any funds left over would go back into the CARES package.”

In other matters, the board also approved the CARES Act committee’s recommendations, including:

*A 2020 Type 1 ambulance for Station 8, the county’s career EMS and fire service.

Jane Fulk, board chairman and of the Dan River District, asked whether CARES Act funds were used to “pay for Station 8 to have all three ambulances refurbished with lifts? And we still can’t give any money to volunteers beyond the $5,000?”

The Ararat Volunteer Fire Department planned to buy a fire truck with funds the county was supposed to give them this year. The county furloughed those funds due to help fill a budget deficit.

“The department’s fire truck is a 1995 model,” Fulk said.

*Restroom upgrades, including automatic flush values and touchless faucets. “We don’t want people touching anything if we could help it,” Hazelwood said.

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