BERLIN – The town will use $171,000 in CARES Act funding to establish its much-discussed reserve fund.
The Berlin Town Council this week agreed to use funding it received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to start a stabilization reserve fund.
“I’d like to put that money away so that we can get started on this stabilization reserve that we talked about four or five months ago,” Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said.
Fleetwood told the council the town had received roughly $171,000 from the CARES Act a little over a week ago. The funding is reimbursement for what the town spent this year related to COVID-19. The town is being reimbursed for money spent on PPE as well as wages for those, such as the town’s police force, who were working to “mitigate the hazard in itself.”
Fleetwood said the staff recommendation was to put the check in a separate account at the Bank of Ocean City to create the reserve fund officials have discussed in recent months.
Councilman Dean Burrell questioned whether the funding needed to be used to reimburse what was spent already.
“The overwhelming majority were already planned as payroll dollars,” Fleetwood said, “so they were already budgeted.”
He added that no additional monies were spent.
Mayor Zack Tyndall added that if the funding was in a reserve account, it could be used when needed.
“If the town incurred any further expenses as a result of COVID-19 this is some funding that once it’s placed in that fund would allow us to have that ability to pull from,” he said.
The council voted 4-0 to establish the fund with the CARES money.