Board of County Commissioners
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Present: Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4
Dr. Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Vice Chair, District 2
Eric Hinson, District 1
Kimblin NeSmith, District 3
Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5
Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator
Clayton Knowles, County Attorney
Hannah Pope, Deputy Clerk
CALL TO ORDER, INVOCATION, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Dixon welcomed everyone to the workshop at 3:03pm. He then led in the invocation and pledge of allegiance.
Green entered 3:05pm
V entered 3:06 pm
CITIZENS REQUESTING TO BE HEARD (3-Minute Limit)
Anyone wishing to speak on agenda items or non-agenda items should schedule or notify the County Administrator's Office before attending the meeting and will be asked to follow the Gadsden County Public Meetings Citizens Access Guidelines. Also, Public comment for Commission meetings can be submitted via email to CitizensToBeHeard@gadsdencountyfl.gov until noon on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Comments submitted after the deadline, but prior to the meeting, will be added to the official record. The County cannot guarantee that Commissioners and staff will have adequate time to review comments prior to the meeting.
Presentation from The Integrity Group and The Tuggerson Group Regarding the American Rescue Plan Act.
Dixon introduced the above item.
The county was awarded 8.9 million dollars related to COVID-19 in tow equal allocations. This funding was directly awarded to the county. The time frame for this allocation is until December 31, 2024. The Cities and utilities will receive their own funding. This is far less stringent than the previous. Staff recommends to keep $995,488.50 in reserve for internal programs. All grants will be a first qualified, first served basis.
Gadsden County Church Assistance Program will help churches that had reduced donations or increased expenses due to Covid. Maximum amounts are $2,000-5,000 biased off of members.
Residents Assistance is going to be a Food Card Program. Each household will be granted $150 once they meet the eligibility requirements.
Non-Profit Organization Assistance Program will help nonprofit health care. The reason why is our health care is nonexistent and the county needs these programs that help our citizens. They have shown themselves more important during the pandemic than ever before. Then there are nonprofits that have been making sure that food was distributed and that education materials were being dispersed. Staff wanted to make sure that they were recognized as well. The maximum is $5,000-8,000 biased off of loss of revenue or unexpected costs.
V asked biased on this information is the heath council that was created by the board considered a nonprofit.
Dixon most heath care originations belong to the health council and the health council has been a distributor of information for the county.
Green what puzzled you regarding nonprofits.
Dixon some nonprofits may not have lost money per say.
Small Business Assistance Program will look at eligibility requirements that were directed by the board. It will be biased off of loss of revenue and the maximums are $8,000-20,000.
Directed Funding was created to help programs that were already helping citizens before COVID. Such as Second Harvest and Farm Share. The total amount for that funding will be $25,000.
Other Support and Funding Available for Gadsden is using resources provided by the Integrity Group and Tuggerson Group. There will be technical support and workshops to aid the citizens on getting grants. The County wants the citizens to get this money. Pass the word to the citizens.
NeSmith asked about the outreach efforts.
Dixon stated that the Tuggerson Group will be bringing in people to help who are from Gadsden County. What is on the schedule is technical help workshop dates and are dedicated to helping every city.
Stanley Sims asked about the education for these programs.
Dixon stated that they have set aside 30 days to assist with these issues.
Sims asked how will citizens educate other citizens.
Dixon that they could come to meeting or staff will come to you.
Sims what is the method of outreach is that is being used.
Tuggerson came forward to answer his question. She stated that her group wanted to hear from the board and public before they finalize everything.
V stated that this model should also be how we educate citizens on probate and heir properties.
Dixon then went over the proposed time line for the program.
V suggest that the citizen preparation for this plan be a continuous process.
Dixon stated that it is.
V stated that all need to be ready for this opportunity.
Dixon stated that the intention is to help get citizens ready for the opportunity.
Marketing and Communication is one thing the county has allotted $50,000 dollars to ensure that every citizen gets the information that they need.
Sims asked who was being hired to do the marketing and communications and how to citizens apply.
Dixon stated that we don’t know and once a timeline is finalized that issue will be dealt with then.
V we will consider using the churches for marketing and communication.
Dixon yes sir.
Green stated that it could be an incentive for those churches to apply for grants.
Sims also need to understand that many are not attending church physically right now so to look at Walmart and other businesses as well.
Dixon stated that this time around staff wants to know what services the county is paying for through groups that is processing the applications for the county.
Green stated that they should hear from The Integrity Group.
Eric Miller stated that running a grant program there is a large amount of admin duties that are in the background. They start out with an analysis of the current controls that are imposed by law and look at all of the requirements. They stay UpToDate on the changes to the requirements. They assist with developing the application process on paper and online. Also, they differ individuals to programs that might assist them and work with the Clerks office for payments. Document all interactions with applicants and keep in contact with them to get the appropriate information. They also do the reports for the Federal and State level regarding what has been distributed. They also report the amounts of applications that have been approved to the county.
Sims asked if the small business grant determination is biased off of the number of expenditures. Explain to me how to tell citizens which one application to apply for. Is it loss of revenue or expenses.
Tuggerson that one of the techniques that is used is to get citizens document ready. So if citizens do not have those documents get them through the appropriate parties. That every case is different and it takes time. This is not done in a hour. Work with citizens one on one.
Karen Wells stated that the county has to be very careful on how they advise people as well. That citizens need documents so they do not have their accounts locked up.
V asked how to cash and carry businesses document their loss. If they do not have receipts how to they show their loss.
Dixon that was what Ms. Tuggerson was saying. That we will take the time required for each citizen.
Green exited 3:59 pm
Dixon stated that all commitments are taken into account. Take our time to get each citizen the help that they need. Might want to consider a bonus to the employees who have worked during this difficult time.
Chair stated that the health council made sure that people got there funding before time ran out. Look at staff because we are having more work than personnel for continued programs. She told a story of the Golden triangle.
Review and Discuss the May 4, 2021 Regular BOCC Meeting Agenda (Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator)
There was no discussion regarding this agenda item.
MOTION TO ADJOURN
Dixon adjourned the workshop at 4:25 pm