Mat-Su Borough cancels individual assistance CARES grants

The borough’s attorney said the Department of Treasury changed the guidelines and each person would have to have their financial need assessed.
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 4:39 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - The Mat-Su Borough has canceled individual assistance grants from its Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding.

The CARES Act funds were initially split up into three pots: $13 million for small businesses, $11.65 million for the borough’s COVID-19-related expenses and $9.9 million for individual grants.

The borough had planned to use the $9.9 million to give Mat-Su residents who applied a grant of $100 each.

At a meeting Monday night, Mat-Su Borough attorney Nicholas Spiropoulos told the assembly members the Department of Treasury continues to update its guidelines on how funds can be used.

He said one of the guidelines now requires an assessment of individual needs to get assistance.

“Unless there’s an individual assessment for each and every person to try to determine their level of need for the assistance, that we can’t do it,” Spiropoulos said.

Assembly member Tim Hale said he would still like to see the money go to residents in some way.

“I really hope we can find another way to use that $9.9 million to help the working folks here in the borough with something like utility assistance or housing assistance,” Hale said.

Borough staff are working to put together a new proposal on how to use the money.

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