City of Bethel receives first CARES check

From left are City Manager Vinny Corazza, Acting Finance Director John Sargent, Mayor Perry Barr, Bank Manager Jason Brown, Bank Operations Supervisor John Hamilton.

The City of Bethel received its first disbursement of the $8.4 million from the State of Alaska for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. In a ceremony held at the First National Bank of Alaska Bethel Branch at 700 Front Street, City of Bethel Mayor Perry Barr extended the check in the amount of $4,193,478.70 to Branch Manager Jason Brown.

“Opening up a new checking account at First National Bank will allow the City to easily track all deposits and expenditures in order to complete monthly reports,” said Acting Finance Director John Sargent.

The United States Treasury and the State of Alaska have provided guidance on where the CARES Act funds can be spent. Areas of eligible expenses include: medical, public health, payroll for public safety, actions to facilitate compliance, economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency, and functions of government that satisfy the Fund’s eligibility criteria.

“We received a lot of interesting ideas from the community at our June 18 CARES Act Public Forum,” City Manager Vinny Corazza said. “Bethel City Council still needs to pass the CARES Act Budget and Spending Plan, but it’s nice to know there’s $4.2 million that can immediately be spent on CARES Act eligible expense.”