Unspent COVID relief funds discussed at county meeting

In a meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, what to do with $800,000 of unspent COVID-19 relief funds was discussed. During the discussion, Commissioner Louis Gregory said he learned of plans by the Health Department to return $800,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to the state.

“What I would like to see happen is to get a clarification as to why we have not utilized the money that the state has given to us to be used for health benefits,” Gregory said.   

County Manager Wayne Vest said that no money will go back to the state until approved by the Board of Commissioners. County staff will be looking to ensure that the funds have been used on every eligible expense, according to Vest.

“I do not want us and Moore County to lose this funding,” said Gregory.  

In a related motion, commissioners approved a request from Finance Director Caroline Xiong to carry forward $83,370 of COVID-19 relief money to the current fiscal year.

Also during the meeting, the Tax Department reported they had a collection rate of 99.72% for the fiscal year ending in June. According to Tax Administrator Gary Briggs, that represents the highest collection rate for any year.

“I have one of the best tax departments in the state,” Briggs said.

“I want to let them know and state it publicly how proud I am of what they have done and what a privilege it is to be a member of that team.”

The commissioners will meet on July 28 for a special meeting at 10 a.m.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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