On Wednesday evening, the Carbon County Commissioners hosted a public hearing in regard to the consideration and possible approval of the amended 2020 budget.
Carbon County Clerk/Auditor Seth Marsing outlined the amendments with the commissioners, beginning with an increase of $17,000 for the data processing department for upgraded equipment such as computers. He then stated that one of the biggest changes in the budget suggested is that this year the county received 2.4 million in CARES Act funding.
With that funding, there will need to be an amendment to the revenue as well as expenditure lines for revenues received and the intended use. Another is the Intergenerational Poverty Grant, which was something that was received the previous year and the county was unsure how much would carry over. The budget will be amended to reflect what was received in 2020. Both of those funds are net zero, meaning that they are funds received in grant or federal funds.
In fund 20, there was a decrease of $8,000 to the street, lights and utilities. The previous year, that money was used for prepares. Instead, the $8,000 was moved to increase the city library cards fund. Those that are in unincorporated areas of the county benefit from this as they are still able to receive a library card at no cost.
The county worked with the Association of Counties to create a grant fund that businesses in the community, as well as ranchers and people affected by COVID-19, can submit applications for. Those are reviewed by a panel that was recently formed. Funding was also given to each city that they are working to distribute to businesses. The majority of the 2.4 million in the CARES Act funding has been distributed or used for COVID-19 expenses.
Commission Chair Casey Hopes explained that the county is unable to use the funds to supplement any lost revenue. He then urged those affected to fill out an application and apply to received the funding. As of right now, anything that is not utilized gets turned back to the state. Applications can be obtained from one of the cities, the Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG) or the county.
Increases for the senior center will mostly be covered with CARES Act funding, though it has to be shown where the money comes in and where it goes. This money will fund the increased mobile meal trays, hours and extra food as the number of individuals receiving meals at home has dramatically increased.
As for the re-surfacing project at the county airport, the majority of the funding is state and federal with a small local match. The project was completed and the final bill came in the morning of the meeting. Commissioner Hopes explained that the project will extend the life of the main runway and apron. Though a public hearing was then opened for the budget, no one came forward to speak. Closing the hearing, the amended 2020 budget was approved.