From the $150 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security—or CARES—Act that Congress approved in March, $12.2 million has trickled down to Loudoun’s seven incorporated towns. They face a Dec. 15 deadline to disperse the money or will be required to return it.
Virginia received about $3.1 billion from the CARES Act, $1.3 billion of which was dispersed to the 95 counties and 38 independent cities via two installments of $644.6 million. Loudoun County’s share was $72.2 million, and from that, $12.2 million was distributed to the county’s towns in two installments, with allocations based on each town’s population.
During the past four months, those towns have used $3,779,730 of their combined CARES Act allocations to keep governmental operations running smoothly and to support the businesses and the nearly 70,000 residents living within their borders.
All seven Loudoun towns have until Dec. 15 to spend the remaining $8,421,058 of their combined allocations, at which point they’ll be required to return any unused funding to the county government so it has time to process the money and return it to the state government, which will then return it to the federal government.
Here’s how Loudoun’s towns have prioritized their spending.
The 630-resident Town of Hamilton received two installments of $56,496 in CARES Act funding, totaling $112,992.
Town leaders opted to set aside money to purchase and provide personal protective equipment donations to 1,739 households, upgrade virtual meeting capabilities, pay for a handwashing station at the Hamilton Community Park, sanitize and install panels in the town office to separate and protect the staff, pay the town attorney for the time spent to draft and review emergency town ordinances and resolutions, and to pay for additional PPE for utility operators.
So far, the town has spent $81,315 on those initiatives. Town leaders plan to use the remaining $31,677 to support residents.
The 170-resident Town of Hillsboro received two installments of $15,125 in CARES Act funding, totaling $30,250.
Town leaders allocated, and have spent, the entirety of that funding to pay for PPE and COVID-related sanitization efforts and upgrades in the Old Stone School. The town plans to also provide qualified businesses with interruption grants.
The 54,000-resident Town of Leesburg received two installments of $4.8 million in CARES Act funding, totaling $9.6 million.
The Town Council voted to allocate $6 million for small business grant funding, $2 million for nonprofit grant funding and $1.6 million to support town operations.
It has already distributed $1.58 million to support 176 small businesses, $1 million to support nonprofits and $205,441 to pay for governmental COVID-related expenses—a total of about $2.8 million. That leaves the town with another $6.8 million to distribute before Dec. 15.
Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett said the town staff has received another 228 applications from businesses seeking financial help in the form of a second round of grants, and is reviewing applications for a second round of nonprofit grants.
The 2,200-resident Town of Lovettsville received two installments of $187,372 in CARES Act funding, totaling $374,744.
Of that amount, town leaders set aside $166,244 to keep the town government operational, by purchasing PPE, paying staff overtime, paying legal fees and renovating the Town Council chambers to allow for in-person meetings; $93,500 to award business interruption grants; $45,000 to award nonprofit grants; and $70,000 for the Essential Services Fund, which is providing all town utility customers with $45 credits on their utility accounts.
So far, the town has distributed $130,491 of its total CARES Act allocation. It will distribute the remaining $244,253 in the same ways it already has.
The 830-resident Town of Middleburg received two installments of $74,824 in CARES Act funding, totaling $149,648.
The town used the entirety of its first installment to partially refund the money it spent on its restaurant support program, which saw the town mail out meal vouchers to 16 restaurants to all 420 in-town households.
The town plans to use its second $74,824 installment to sanitize the town office and support residents and businesses—$50,000 will be used to provide residents with housing support in partnership with the Windy Hill Foundation. Another $15,000 will be used to indirectly support businesses by cleaning at public restrooms and preparing for business activity to continue during the winter months. And the final $10,000 will be used to purchase PPE and cleaning supplies and to perform physical improvements in the town office, such as the installation of air purifier systems and additional technology.
The 10,200-resident Town of Purcellville received two installments of $891,932 in CARES Act funding, totaling close to $1.8 million.
Town leaders have opted to use nearly $1.2 million to support businesses and nonprofits and about $525,000 to fund governmental expenses, including COVID-19 testing, town office cleaning, PPE purchases, staff overtime pay, workspace modifications, communication efforts and the voucher program, in which the town staff mailed vouchers to all utility customers to spend at participating businesses. The town’s first round of business interruption grants helped 25 businesses. Town staff is reviewing another 80 applications for a second round of those grants.
The town has already used about $615,000 of its CARES Act allocation.
The town will use its remaining $1.2 million on another round of business grants in cooperation with the county government, on nonprofit grants and on the same types of initiatives it has already initiated, such as PPE purchases, staff pay and the voucher program.
The 660-resident Town of Round Hill received two installments of $59,077 in CARES Act funding, totaling $118,154.
Town leaders have allocated $30,000 to support nonprofits, $15,000 to support businesses, $66,000 to keep the town office sanitized, socially distanced and operating, and $7,000 to create an emergency fund to pay an outside organization to run the town’s utility services in the event the town’s utility staff becomes infected with COVID-19.
So far, the town has distributed $47,850 of its CARES Act allocation, including $9,850 to support 12 businesses with grants.
In all, the town is left with $70,304 to distribute before Dec. 15.
Mayor Scott Ramsey pointed out that Round Hill faces a hardship that other towns aren’t experiencing when it comes to having enough CARES Act funding to support residents. While the town received its allocation based on its 660-resident population, which includes 250 in-town households, town leaders are trying to use that funding to additionally support all residents living within the town’s utility service area—about 3,400 additional residents in 1,700 homes.
“On a per-capita basis, we just have far less money to work with than other towns relative to our utility system and local population needs,” Ramsey said.