LANSING — The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced final awards to communities through the public safety and public health payroll reimbursment program — and some area municipalities now will have to repay money they previously received.
According to the Treasury, initial payments were revised in mid-May. While some communities will receive additional funding, others were overpaid. Bancroft, Morrice and Perry all had to make repayments while Corunna, Durand, Owosso, Ovid and the county all received an additional payment.
“We’ll be fine, financially,” Bancroft village President Brian Barnum said of the repayment demand. “But it’s pretty petty. It’s not a whole lot of money.”
Treasury said repayments are due by Friday. According to a press release, affected municipalities were contacted the week of May 24.
Every area muncipality that received funding saw its initial award amount reduced in the final determination. There was no explanation by the treasury why some communities received payments that were higher than their award amounts.
The funding was provided through the federal CARES Act to deal with costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
n Perry was given $44,120, but must send back $7,149.
“The city was granted 50 percent of the requested amount with the understanding that the state would audit us to make sure that the city qualified for what was requested,” Mayor Sue Hammond said via email. “The city is one of several municipalities that received all of their money prior to the state audit. Once it was determined as to which departments were eligible for funds it was understood that a portion would need to be issued back to Treasury so it was expected. The return of $7, 149.43 has been issued.”
n Bancroft received $6,519, but now must pay back $4,058.
“I’m very confused,” village President Brian Barnum said. “And not very happy. We did what they told us to do, but they apparently can’t keep track of what they’ve spent.”
n Morrice received a payment of $21,720, but must pay back $11,357.
Other area municipalities will see an additional payment.
n Corunna initially received $29,511. The city will receive an additional payment of $9,815.
“In Corunna, we were determined to be eligible for $59,022.38,” City Manager Joe Sawyer said. “We received $29,511 (50 percent) in our initial payment, and more recently $9,815.37 (16.6 percent) as our final payment. Municipalities that applied received 66.6 percent of their eligible amounts. Our total in Corunna is $39,326.37. The higher the budget for public safety payroll, the higher the reimbursement amount, but we all got the same percentage of eligible expenses submitted.”
Sawyer added that the city used the funding for additional public safety equipment purchases/upgrades.
“In our final budget amendment (June 21) we will be setting aside $25,000 for additional P.D. equipment that we have programmed for purchase in our 2021-22 fiscal budget, and an additional $9,000 in equipment expenses already incurred in our 2020-21 budget. We will have an additional $5,500 equipment budget for our 2021-22 fiscal year,” he explained.
n Durand was paid $35,074 and will receive an additional $11,056.
“The city requested $69,234.21 to reimburse April and May 2020 police and fire payrolls,” Durand Clerk/Treasurer Lisa David said. “These funds are deposited into the general fund as a partial reimbursement of those costs related to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
n Owosso received $240,394 and will receive another $79,953.
“Of course we were hoping for the full $480,000 allotment (requested),” Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne said, “but we noticed that participation was very high and more cities signed up than what the state expected. I’m not surprised we only received 66% percent and it has certainly helped during the uncertainty COVID created.”
n Ovid received $9,335 and will get another $3,105.
According to Ovid Deputy Clerk Patti Kieffer, when the city receives guidance from either the
Michigan Treasury or the IRS, officials will better know the appropriate use(s) for the funds.
n Shiawassee County obtained $766,371 and will get an additional $223,150.