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Application deadline for Coronavirus relief funds looms for local Texas governments

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The deadline to request Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) allocations is Oct. 16, a deadline of critical importance to Texas counties and municipalities seeking assistance in offsetting COVID-19-related payroll costs.

“It is important for counties and municipalities to meet this deadline as the state has made it clear there will be no extensions,” said Dallas attorney Bruce Hendrick, who leads the team at Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal assisting governments with the preparation of their applications requesting their initial 20 percent funding allotment.

“If there is any question about the need for the funds, we recommend going forward with the request,” Mr. Hendrick said. “If a decision is subsequently made not to use the funds, they simply must be returned to the state by December 15. No harm, no foul.”

Mr. Hendrick said that guidance is based upon the Per Se Rule regarding payroll expenses for public health and public safety employees, which states that eligible expenditures covered under CRF guidelines include payroll for employees “substantially dedicated” to mitigating COVID-19. This results in the ability to apply funds the municipality receives to payroll costs dating back to March 1, potentially providing millions of dollars in relief. “There is no question this strategy works, and we wouldn’t want local governments that are struggling during this time to leave money on the table.”

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