Vermont's units of local government, including counties, cities, towns, and various service districts, can now apply for reimbursement of COVID-19 eligible expenses through a grant program created under Act 137 of 2020.
The Vermont Legislature passed Act 137 of 2020 to distribute Coronavirus Relief Funds to various entities in Vermont. Section 7 appropriates $13 million to reimburse local government entities for COVID-19 expenses such as hazard pay, supplies and equipment, sanitation, and facilities alterations not already covered by insurance or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding. The Agency of Administration, through the Vermont Department of Taxes, is responsible for distributing the grant funds.
On Tuesday, August 11, the application for reimbursements went live on the Tax Department website at: https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus/municipal-grants.
“Many of Vermont’s cities and towns have experienced unexpected costs this year from the COVID-19 pandemic. Local officials have taken, and continue to take, a number of steps to keep us all safe and healthy,” said Secretary of Administration Susanne Young. “We appreciate the partnership with municipal officials, the Vermont Legislature, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the regional planning commissions that helped launch this program to ensure municipalities have access to resources to cover eligible costs related to their responses to the pandemic."
Units of local government are defined in Act 137 as Vermont counties, Vermont cities, towns, unorganized towns and gores, unified towns and gores of Essex County, incorporated villages, fire districts, consolidated water districts, consolidated sewer districts, and solid waste management districts.
The deadline for submission of grant applications is September 4, 2020. To be eligible for reimbursement, expenses must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
For more information, go to https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus/municipal-grants, which will be updated frequently. Units of local government can contact their Regional Planning Commissions for free assistance to identify and document eligible COVID-19 expenses. For more information on the Regional Planning Commission visit https://www.vapda.org.
Guidance for the Coronavirus Municipal Records Digitization Grant application, which went live on July 31, 2020, can also be found at that website.