County Commissioners Board Room / Courthouse stock

YORK – The county commissioners have already declared a disaster, regarding the effects of the pandemic and subsequent otherwise unforeseen expenses in responding to the situation.

This declaration enables the county to ask for federal and state reimbursements to cover some of those costs.

This week, they also declared Gary Peterson, the county’s emergency manager, to be the point person/representative of the county in dealing with these matters as they navigate forward.

Peterson explained, as a comparison, that if there is a flooding emergency, then the county’s highway superintendent is the point person in the process of seeking those state and federal disaster dollars to reimburse road repairs. In this case, because it is health-related and all related to the effects of COVID-19, he would be that person because he is the emergency manager.

“We will submit our reimbursement requests and once I am the authorized representative, I can complete those documents,” Peterson explained to the county commissioners as they met in regular session.

What types of expenses might the county seek? It could be for reimbursement for the installation of all the Plexy glass windows/customer counter modifications, or the installation of customer speakers. It could also be to help pay for the extra help it took from county employees to facilitate the many visitors to the courthouse during the first few weeks the Department of Motor Vehicles was open (when none or hardly any others were open at all in other counties). It might also be for overtime, for law enforcement.

“We will make our requests, then they will review those and pay out for the eligible expenses,” Peterson explained. “The process will be fairly easy but it will take a little time.”

They agreed Peterson is authorized to be the person to facilitate this for the county.

“It sounds like once a request is approved, the money comes through pretty fast,” Peterson said. “But we will have to wait and see.”

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