Today on August 18th the Mono County Board of Supervisors ruled in favor of the first use of public funds provided under the CARES Act. According to the board of supervisors agenda, an "application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Cares Act Funds in the amount of $64,484 for a Microenterprise Financial and Technical Assistance Program.", was passed unanimously.Before the vote was taken, a member of the public asked the board to cite specific financial expenses which would allow for CARES Act money to be issued for such a grant. A proponent of the grant claimed it was not CARES Act money, but money from the Community Development Block Grant. However, no member of the board was able to cite a specific financial expense which would allow for a legal issuance of CARES Act money.
Without citing a specific financial expense incurred directly from Covid-19, technically, the funds do not qualify for release under the CARES Act. Are Mono County officials simply unaware of what qualifies for CARES Act funds? Perhaps they are simply trying to spend the money before the deadline on Dec. 30 2020? Only time will tell if the actions taken today will be seen as just and warranted or simply more government fraud and negligence.
Mammoth Group question's about the ruling are; Is the grant absolutely necessary due to the public health emergency? Or could this money be utilized more efficiently?
After all, Mono County has been slated to receive nearly 1.4 million in CARES Act aid. The so called 'health emergency' continues on, and the next flu season is not far off. Maybe the funds are better left untouched until more serious issues arise?