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MEMA announces Vicksburg among first cities to receive CARES Act funds

The money is in the bank.

Tuesday, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. confirmed the city had received more than $550,000 in CARES Act Funds from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the city for money spent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In August, Gov. Tate Reeves and MEMA launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program. Through the Legislature, MEMA was allocated $70 million of CARES Act Money to reimburse county and municipal governments for COVID-19 expenses.

Each city and county is eligible to receive up to a maximum amount based on population totals from the 2010 Census. In the case of Vicksburg, the maximum amount that could have been received was $558,754.99, and that is exactly how much the city received.

Flaggs said the money will go back to the city’s general fund and “close the gap and lessen the impact on the loss of revenue we saw from the pandemic.” Flaggs also complimented the work of Nancy Allen, the city’s grants administrator, for leading the city’s effort in being among the first municipalities to submit an application with MEMA. The early application made Vicksburg among the first cities and counties to receive monies from MEMA.

In Friday’s release, MEMA announced it had paid out $6,171,912.92 to counties and municipalities whose projects have been approved for reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses.

The reimbursed expenses for Vicksburg are those connected to the hazard pay paid out to city employees during the first few months of the pandemic.

Alcorn, Chickasaw, Hancock, Jones, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica and Wayne counties, along with Vicksburg, Clinton, Oxford, Southaven and Starkville were among the first recipients.

To be reimbursed through the COVID-19 Relief Program, the county/municipality must have its application and specific project (what type of expense they’re being reimbursed for) approved by MEMA. For local governments to receive those approved funds, each must sign an agreement with the state to certify their projects meet CARES Act criteria. Once received, MEMA will release those funds.

MEMA is urging local and county governments to apply for the CARES Act funds before the deadline on Oct. 15. According to Senate Bill 3047, monies must be obligated by Nov. 30 or they will be returned.

Warren County Administrator Loretta Brantley said the county has submitted an application, but has not yet filed the reimbursement amounts. She said those would be filed before the deadline and will far exceed the maximum amount the county is eligible for.

According to MEMA, Warren County is eligible to receive $583,605.72.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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