Another $22 million for towns to fight COVID-19

By John McPhaul

Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority Executive Director Omar Marrero announced on Tuesday the start of the fourth phase of the Coronavirus Relief Fund’s Municipal Transfer Program.

Marrero said that in this fourth phase, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia authorized $22 million to island municipalities to continue responding to and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in their respective towns.

“The governor recognizes the essential role of municipalities in providing services to citizens during the pandemic,” Marrero said in a written statement. “This is why we continue to prioritize the agile and efficient development of the Municipal Transfer Program.”

He said that in the fourth phase, distribution will be made based on the economic impact suffered by the municipalities, exacerbated by the reduction of funds available through the Equalization Fund.

Municipalities that have seen reductions in their participation in the Equalization Fund, and that have reported expenses in excess of the funds assigned in previous phases of the program, will be eligible for an accelerated disbursement. In addition, the towns eligible under this distribution may request disbursements to cover their excess eligible expenses, resubmit and/or clarify requests denied in previous phases, and submit additional eligible expenses that they will incur before Dec. 31.

Marrero emphasized that eligible expenses are those justified under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act and incurred from March 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021.

The AAFAF chief also announced that a virtual seminar on the fourth phase of the Municipal Transfer Program will be held today at 11 a.m. for both mayors and their work teams.

The request for funds for the fourth phase will be available from today until Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. Likewise, the award and distribution process will run until Sept. 20.

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