Jefferson County leader ‘very concerned’ about getting emergency funding

WWNY Jefferson County leader 'very concerned' about getting emergency funding

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County's administrator is "very concerned" about the county receiving emergency funding to cope with the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Hagemann appeared on 7 News at Noon on Friday to talk about the money earmarked for state and local governments in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. Watch his interview with anchor Diane Rutherford above.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund uses a formula based on population to parcel out tens of billions of dollars to the states, while allowing local governments with more than 500,000 residents to apply directly to the Treasury Department for cash infusions.

But localities below the half-million population threshold, like Jefferson County, are in limbo.

"Counties...are on the front line relative to assisting local communities fight the COVID-19 virus and as a result of that, there's a significant expense that goes along with that," said Hagemann. "Unfortunately, the way things are being talked about in Washington right now, we aren't finding ourselves eligible."

He said the National Association of Counties and New York State Association of Counties are talking to federal lawmakers “to explain the bureaucracy, if you will, of the distribution” to make sure relief fund money is fairly awarded.

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