Montgomery County commissioners form department to manage $92M in CARES Act funds

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County officials have created a temporary department to manage the $92 million the county received as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The funding will go toward providing financial relief to both individuals and businesses who have experienced hardship due to the pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful for this financial support from the Federal Government,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “This funding will be critical to help our community recover from this pandemic and will be used to support families and small businesses who are struggling to get by, as well as some educational and agricultural services.”

The County’s Office of CARES Act is dedicated to managing and distributing this money to the community. Members are responsible for developing financial assistance programs, applications, and eligibility criteria.

The temporary department will be operational from May 12, 2020, through March 31, 2021. The first program targeted at helping small businesses is expected to be rolled out in June of 2020.

“Because the CARES Act will expire on Dec. 31, 2020, we have limited time to create appropriate programs and criteria for distributing these funds to our community,” said Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert. “In addition, these funds will be subject to intense audit scrutiny, so we will be strictly adhering to the guidelines provided to us by the U.S. Treasury. We are going to ensure that these funds are allocated appropriately to where they are needed most. 

“We must act quickly, deliberately and strategically, and I applaud the Board of County Commissioners for their foresight and vision as we work to distribute these desperately needed financial resources to our community,” Colbert added. 

Marvene Mitchell-Cook will lead efforts as Director of the Office of CARES Act. Officials say she has experience administering public programs, and a background in financial administration and compliance with federal guidelines.

Mitchell-Cook most recently served as the Director of Montgomery County Workforce Development.

“We are thrilled to appoint Director Marvene Mitchell-Cook to lead the Office of CARES Act,” Dodge said. “I have absolute confidence in her team’s ability to get this office up and running quickly, so that we can direct these financial resources to the people and organizations who need them most.”

The formation of the Office of CARES Act was approved by the Board of County Commissioners at their May 12 board meeting, as was the appointment of Mitchell-Cook.

“This funding will provide much-needed relief to our communities. Many organizations, families and individuals are suffering because of this pandemic, and this CARES Act funding will allow us to help them,” Mitchell-Cook said. 

“I’m honored to lead this new department, and to ensure these funds are distributed fairly and where there is great need. I want to thank our Commissioners and our County Administrator for this opportunity to serve the community I love at a time when this support is needed most.”

You can find COVID-19 resources and assistance available through Montgomery County by clicking here.

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