City, counties to get COVID-19 assistance dollars


More than $3.6 million is on its way to Norton and Wise County in the form of federal COVID-19 relief funds for local governments.

Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia would distribute $644.6 million to localities across the commonwealth.

Norton is projected to receive more than $347,300 while Wise County will get more than $3.26 million.

Other local county funding will include:

• Dickenson, nearly $1.25 million.

• Russell, nearly $2.32 million.

• Scott, more than $1.88 million.

This is the second and final round of federal relief fund allocations, the governor explained.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established the Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide funding to states and eligible units of local government navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia received approximately $3.1 billion.

This new distribution will bring assistance to a total of $1.3 billion sent to local governments, according to Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne.

The second round of funding will be allotted proportionally based on population. Consequently, the second round of allocations will be equivalent to the amount each locality received in the first round on June 1.

To receive the second allocation, localities must submit a new certification form and complete an online survey regarding the use of the dollars. After these two documents are completed and submitted, the Department of Accounts will initiate the transfer of funds to the local treasurer. Localities can expect to receive the transfer from the state comptroller within five business days following confirmation of receipt of the completed documents.

The CARES Act requires that the money only be used to cover costs that:

• Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

• Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27 for the state or government.

• Were incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020.

Current federal rules prohibit state and local governments from using the funds to replace lost revenue and address significant budget shortfalls. State and local government officials have requested that this restriction be lifted in future stimulus packages, or that additional federal funds are provided to address the loss of state and local revenue.