Dare commissioners act on money matters

Published 11:34 am Friday, June 5, 2020

Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed its fiscal year 2021 budget on June 1.

No comments were received online nor were people waiting outside to make comments.

The proposed budget reflects the effects of COVID-19 on the county’s revenue stream. The FY 2021 budget with the General Fund plus separate funds totals $159.38. The General Fund, the government’s operating fund, is $107.07 million.

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In a COVID-19 financial move, the commissioners established an initial budget for the county’s new Coronavirus Relief Fund. The new fund will budget and account for three funding sources.

Monies already received come from the North Carolina Coronavirus Relief Fund and represents pass-through federal funding under Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the CARES Act. That initial budget item totals $852,149.

Eligible expenditures must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020, which spans two fiscal years.

Dare County is required to file a plan for spending CARES Act money. The spending plan, which must be approved by the Board of Commissioners, is now due June 15. The monies cannot be used to replace revenue losses. Some destinations, like local school systems and local hospitals, already have separate CARES Act funding.

Two different Federal Emergency Management Agency funding streams are created in the project ordinance: FEMA/State Emergency Measures and FEMA/State Aid. Both are initially funded at an estimated $125,000. At first, the state thought it would be required to pay a FEMA match. However, the match requirement was waived late last week.

Instructions from the state are to spend FEMA funding first, then turn to the CARES funding.

Dare County finance director David Clawson made the presentation. To keep track of the funding, Clawson is working with county staffers Ernie Dabiero, budget analyst and internal auditor; Dustin Peele, purchasing agent; and Sandy West, risk manager.

Clawson cautioned the commissioners to look for numerous budget amendments as virus-related expenditures become FEMA eligible or ineligible.

The commissioners approved the guaranteed maximum price of $4,811,475 for the expansion of the Health and Human Services buildings in Manteo. A.R. Chesson Construction Co., Inc. is the contractor.

The guaranteed maximum price is below estimates and allowed for inclusion of all bid alternatives. The adopted capital project ordinance amendment budgets $5,738,583 for the Health and Human Service buildings for the S2020 Limited Obligation Bonds.

Dare’s commissioners approved a disaster debris monitoring contract with Thompson Consulting of Lake Mary, Fla. Four bids responded to Dare’s request for proposals. Thompson submitted the low bid for the three-year contract. The firm has monitored storm debris removal in Dare County for the last six years.

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