WORTHINGTON – The latest round of COVID Relief funding has been approved by the Nobles County Commissioners, with over $426,600 being distributed as soon as checks can be cut.
The commissioners were hoping to use this funding to help businesses that had not been included in the CARES Act funding. While the board said this money would not be released in a cookie-cutter fashion like the first round, their intentions were not precisely met.
Funding went almost exclusively to daycares, salons, hotels, bars and restaurants, with a few retail establishments thrown in. Exceptions were a bus line, a dental lab, and some – but not all – fitness centers.
According to Assistant County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp, those who will not receive funding this time are asked to remember that the county had only 10 percent of the dollars they had from CARES funds. The subcommittee, which was Heitkamp and Commissioner Don Linssen and Justin Ahlers, put a focus on the most effective way to spend the dollars, he said.
“The committee went through this line by line, over 160 applications,” Heitkamp said. “We vetted each one, and there was a number of criteria… It wasn’t that anyone wasn’t worthy.”
It is possible, he added, that another round of funding will become available if the federal government passes the proposed $1.9 trillion COVID package.
“We’re not saying it is perfect,” added Linssen. “But we tried to be fair and equitable.”