Committee recommends CARES Act funding allocation in Fairbanks

The committee's recommendation will be reviewed and potentially amended by the city Finance...
The committee's recommendation will be reviewed and potentially amended by the city Finance Committee on June 9th. (KTVF)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 4:58 PM AKDT
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A committee to determine how to use the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding allocated to the city of Fairbanks has made its recommendation.

The CARES Act fund was established by the U.S. Treasury, and its funds are being allocated to states, territories, tribes and local governments to cover economic losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fairbanks has received more than twelve million dollars of its allotted sixteen million dollar funds. Of that amount, 35 percent is eligible for the medical industry, 35 percent for businesses and nonprofits, and 30 percent is allocated for individuals.

Private medical practices not directly involved with COVID-19 cases but who have been struggling during the pandemic are being classified as a part of the business allocation.

According to Margarita Bell, Chief Financial Officer for the city and a facilitator for the committee, the remaining four million dollars will be received when the first twelve million has been distributed, no later than November.

The committee’s recommendation will be discussed and possibly amended at a City Finance Committee meeting on June 9th before receiving final approval by the Fairbanks City Council.

According to Mike Meeks, Chief of Staff for the mayor of Fairbanks and a member of the committee, Fairbanks is hoping to partner with financial institutions to distribute the funds to qualified applicants.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure these businesses don’t go under,” he said.

Speaking about the value of this fund to the city’s relief efforts, Bell echoed Meeks’ statement, saying, “For some businesses, it may be the difference between keeping their doors open or closing [them].”

Also on the committee were Mike Sanders of the Fairbanks Housing and Homeless Coalition, Brenda Riley from United Way of the Tanana Valley, and Jeremy Pletnikoff from Mt. McKinley Bank.

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