Taos governments receive CARES Act funds

Municipalities in Taos County will breathe a little easier this week after receiving grant funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

CARES Act funds can only be used to pay for municipal expenses that occurred due to the coronavirus public health emergency and were not accounted for in the normal budget.

"The emergency expenses were not budgeted, but when the pandemic broke out the county commission voted to allocate $300,000 in funding from the general fund reserve account," Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo said in an email. "The money received will reimburse the county for the expenses previously incurred for personal protective equipment for all staff, hazard pay for the public safety staff [and] COVID-related signage."

Taos County received $525,000 from the federal grant, which Jaramillo said will be used up to December to reimburse expenses.

The town of Taos also received CARES Act funds $1,023,223 out of $1.9 million requested.

Municipalities across the state competed for their requested amount of nearly $150 million in federal funds that was allocated by the state to various counties and cities.

"The pandemic has been devastating for all of us, not least local governments and small businesses across our state," said Gov. Lujan Grisham in a news release. "My administration will continue to deliver whatever resources we have and can make available to help our communities maintain essential services and respond to the public health emergency. Every applicant received funding. No one gets left behind. There is still more to do, and together we will continue fighting this virus with everything we've got."

According to state officials, local government expenses were allowed for small business community grants, child care assistance, protective and sanitation equipment as well as emergency responder personnel costs.

Taos Ski Valley received over $97,000, Red River received $50,000, Questa received $67,500, Angel Fire and Eagle Nest received $447,932 and $86,000 respectively.

Governments in Taos County were also awarded grants for small businesses, who must apply through a local government, which will help costs with rent, payroll, altering physical space and purchases for work-at-home technology.

Businesses can begin to apply for these grants from Taos County by mid-September. Jaramillo said the each business can apply for up to $10,000 of the $292,000 the county received for businesses.

The town of Taos received nearly $500,000 in funds to assist businesses.

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