Just as many of you are, Aim is concerned with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the effect it has on our communities. City and town government plays a role in maintaining public health, balancing the need to give citizens accurate information without creating unnecessary painc. However, we know you need to be proactive. You are also an employer who needs to understand all obligations, risks, policies, etc., relative to human resources and COVID-19.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has officially announced that the state will be loosening the restrictions for reimbursement to local governments through the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Since the roll out of the $300 million CRF program for local governments, Aim has been working with the administration to make sure the restrictions on the use of the funds align better with the fiscal needs of Indiana’s cities and towns. After considering Aim’s recommendations, the OMB is changing the guidelines to allow reimbursement for the following expenditures:
- All payroll costs for first responder public safety employees and their supervisors (i.e. police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and those who directly support these employees such as dispatchers and supervisory personnel).
- Expenses incurred due to the mandatory paid family and sick leave policies required under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).
- Providing grants to small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
- Interest and administrative costs associated with tax anticipation notes.
Other expenses also opened up for reimbursement include:
- Public health employee payroll expenses.
- Costs associated with the administration of COVID-19 related programs and/or the reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses.
- Unemployment insurance expenses incurred as a reimbursing employer that are not otherwise reimbursed by the federal government.
- Expenses incurred to remarket convention facilities and local tourism.
All expenses in these categories dating back as far as March 1 of this year may now be submitted for reimbursement to the IFA.
With regard to public safety payroll, the only thing you will need to submit to receive reimbursement is payroll, time, or human resources records. These records must also demonstrate that the positions submitted for reimbursement are eligible (see list above). The eligible employee’s entire payroll cost is presumed eligible for costs incurred between March 1 – December 30, 2020. The first reimbursement request for payroll expenses should be for costs incurred beginning March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020, with subsequent requests submitted monthly if there are still funds available within your allocation.
The IFA is highly encouraging local units to maximize reimbursement for eligible public safety and public health expenses first, and will be prioritizing payroll expenses for review over the other designated expenses categories.
Aim would like to thank Governor Holcomb, the OMB, and the IFA for working with us to secure these resources for local communities. We hope you all can use the CRF to help your communities weather the fiscal hardship brought on by the pandemic.
As we monitor the evolving situation, Aim has gathered resources to provide you with helpful information as it becomes available. Please check back regularly as information becomes available. Further, please do not hesitate to send documents and links you believe would be helpful to your peers to Jennifer Simmons at [email protected]. We are happy to review them and determine if they are appropriate for the site.