New Federal Guidelines Ease Restrictions for Municipalities to Request CARES Act Funds from St. Louis County

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (September 28, 2020) New guidelines from the federal government will make it easier for municipalities to apply for CARES Act funds that were awarded to St. Louis County.

St. Louis County’s Municipal Relief Program, announced earlier this month, was established to distribute up to $47 million of CARES Act funds to the 88 municipalities in the County.

Last week, the Office of Inspector General clarified reporting requirements for what the federal agency calls “prime recipients” including St. Louis County. This new federal document simplifies the requirements for accounting for and reporting COVID-19 expenses for public safety and public health employees.

If the process outlined by the federal government is not followed, the County as a prime recipient is at risk of having to pay back the funds awarded to the municipalities.

With the new clarification from the Office of Inspector General, St. Louis County will no longer require municipalities to submit documentation to support the presumption that public health and safety payroll is substantially dedicated to mitigating the COVID-19 emergency. Instead, a municipality will only be required to substantiate the amount of reimbursement requested.

Although this approach should provide for an expedited distribution of funds to municipalities, St. Louis County is extending by one week the deadline for municipalities to complete the preliminary request for funds. The deadline is now October 9, 2020. Municipalities will still be able to submit documentation to substantiate the amounts requested for reimbursement beginning on October 3, 2020.

Details about this important change will be included in an updated Municipal Relief Program FAQ from St. Louis County and will be discussed during the next regularly scheduled Municipal Relief Program office hours, planned for September 29, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Additional questions may be submitted to [email protected].