Heath Fahle, special director for federal funds at the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, provided an update on CARES Act funds to MMA members on March 4.

State officials today announced the four-step closeout process for local officials to take as the Oct. 29 deadline nears for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Municipal Program.

The Commonwealth created the CvRF-MP to make up to $502 million in federal CARES Act resources available to municipalities to respond to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

The new guidance includes detailed information about the way CvRF-MP intersects with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program.

For municipalities that have a remaining CvRF balance as well as a pending application in the early stages of the FEMA-PA pipeline, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance will permit municipalities to withdraw the FEMA-PA application and apply their CvRF balance to cover those eligible expenses. Municipalities with a FEMA-PA application already in the “Recipient Final Review” stage should complete the process, and costs rejected by FEMA can be supported by CvRF-MP if the costs are CvRF-eligible and the municipality has a remaining CvRF balance.

The CvRF-MP was created to complement the FEMA-PA program, and municipalities agreed to pursue FEMA-PA reimbursement first, before using CvRF-MP funds.

Since the creation of the CvRF-MP, the terms and eligible expenses for the FEMA-PA have changed several times, including a change from providing 75% reimbursement to covering 100% reimbursement for eligible expenses, retroactively, for the duration of the public health emergency. These changes may result in a CvRF-MP unspent balance for many municipalities.

The guidance from the state details how municipalities should complete final reporting measures, as well as instructions for returning any remaining funds to the state.

Written by