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'Say what?' Lapsley stunned at county's Covid relief $$$

The county is projected to receive $22.7 million from the American Recovery Act and the county's municipalities stand to get amounts ranging from $680,000 to $4.1 million, a projection from the governor's office said.

"Would you say that number again?" Henderson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Lapsley said when budget analyst Megan Powell reported the appropriation during the board's regular meeting Wednesday morning. "I just wanted to make sure my ears" were working.

Lapsley said he was concerned that some counties "in a mad dash" to spend the money quickly may later be told to give the money back.

Given the national debt, County Manager Steve Wyatt said that among "the informal conversations from staff" had been the idea of refusing to take the money. "The federal government has no money," he said. "It belongs to 330 million people."

Powell said local governments expect to receive the half their allocation within 60 days. Among allowable uses are Covid-19 related expenses, she said, and revenue lost because of business disruptions, although Henderson County's "sales tax numbers have been very favorable." Other details are forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury, Powell said.

During a meeting Thursday, the Land of Sky Regional Council is scheduled to receive an update about the $130 million in local government relief that counties and cities in the four-county region will receive from the American Recovery Act. Representatives from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and the NC League of Municipalities will share the details about the funding, including how local governments can spend it and rules they'll have to follow, the Land of Sky announced.


Amounts for cities in Henderson County include:
  • Flat Rock $990,000
  • Fletcher $2.45 million
  • Hendersonville $4.14 million
  • Laurel Park $680,000
  • Mills River $2.17 million

Buncombe County is expected to receive $50.66 million, Madison County $4.22 million and Transylvania County $6.67 million. Amounts for other area cities include:

  • Biltmore Forest $410,000
  • Black Mountain $2.39 million
  • Brevard $2.32 million
  • Mars Hill $570,000
  • Marshall $270,000
  • Montreat $250,000
  • Rosman $180,000
  • Weaverville $1.18 million
  • Woodfin $1.97 million.