PIERRE, S.D. — Local governments in South Dakota will continue analyzing and submitting documentation for any COVID-19 related expenses that could be reimbursed through the state’s Local Government COVID Recovery Fund, but seeing the actual reimbursements will likely take months.
Sioux Falls Finance Officer Shawn Pritchett said counties and cities do not have to claim all the funds they’re entitled to, but they can submit eligible costs based on the state and federal guidelines.
The one-time funding allocated a maximum of $41.551 million to the city of Sioux Falls.
Verifying the reimbursable costs within the guidelines may take months to submit, Prichett said.
“We’re still receiving additional guidance. The guidelines can become more and more defined with time,” Prichett said, noting that the state updated the local government fund guidelines as recently as Friday, July 3.
A portal has been set up on a state website where cities and counties can submit eligible costs online once each governmental board has passed a resolution allowing them to do so.
“We have to go through and look at where our eligible costs might be. Those conversations are ongoing right now with the state. We’re right in the middle of finalizing our proposed budget for 2021, so we’re definitely focused on that right now,” Prichett said.
Prichett added that the funds will be treated like a federal grant despite the funds technically being from a state account.
The reimbursements could be made twice per month to counties and cities, Prichett said.
“I think there will be a lot more to come and a lot more conversations with this in the months ahead as we get more information and start submitting information,” Prichett said.
The funds for counties allocate about $66 to each person and is determined by the county’s population. For 884,659 people a total of $58,440,371 was disbursed.
Cities received up to $226 per person based on population, so for the 626,160 people a total of $141,559,629 was disbursed statewide.
The $200 million fund will tap into the $1.25 billion in federal CARES Act money.