Recently announced COVID-19 economic relief funds are now available to Michigan local governments under the Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program (PSPHPR) and the First Responder Hazard Pay Program (FRHPPP).
The funds were awarded to the State of Michigan as federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Social Security Act as amended by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
Reimbursements and payments are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program (PSPHPR)
The PSPHPR allows cities (excluding the City of Detroit), villages, townships, and counties (excluding Kent, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne) to apply for a reimbursement of public safety and public health payroll expenditures.
The application period for the PSPHPR is between July 7, 2020, and July 17, 2020.
Eligible expenditures are expected to be reimbursed in two rounds:
- Round 1 — Eligible expenditures include April and May 2020 COVID-19 related public safety and public health payroll expenditures that have not or will not be reimbursed under the FRHPPP or by any other federal funds. The application period for the PSPHPR is between July 7, 2020, and July 17, 2020. The application packet is available here.
- Round 2 — Treasury is expected to announce a second round covering eligible public safety and public health payroll expenditures from April through July 2020 that have not or will not be reimbursed under the FRHPPP or by any other federal funds. The application period will be announced by Treasury at such time funds become available.
First Responder Hazard Pay Program (FRHPPP)
The FRHPPP allows cities, villages, townships, counties, public airports, and ambulance operations licensed under section 20920 of the Public Health Code to apply for a reimbursement of qualifying hazard pay premiums provided to first responders who have performed hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship related to COVID-19.
Eligible expenditures include hazard pay premiums be paid by Sept. 30, 2020. Eligible employees include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMT), paramedics, 9-1-1 operators, local unit of government corrections officers, airport public safety officers, eligible personnel associated with ambulance operations licensed under section 20920 and private EMTs and paramedics who contract with municipalities or hospitals.
The application period for the FRHPPP is between July 7, 2020, and September 30, 2020.
Maximum available limits are $1,000 per eligible employee with a maximum of $5,000,000 to any applicant.
Overall Reporting Requirements
Eligible local units applying for the subaward before July 26 must register with Federal System for Award Management (SAM) by July 26. Applicants that apply after July 26, must register in the SAM system before submitting their application.
The state provided the following guidance during a webinar “COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Local Governments”, held on July 9, 2020:
- Due to the tight turn around for the applications for the PSPHPR funds (due July 17, 2020), the state recognizes that local units may not be able to get their forms notarized in time to submit them by the deadline. The state recommends submitting a completed application before the deadline and send in the notarized version by Aug. 1, 2020.
- All forms within an application must be initialed and certified by the same individual, with each page being initialed and dated.
- This funding is an allowable source to meet FEMA matching requirements.
- CRF funds can be used for payroll expenses for public safety and public health services that are “substantially dedicated” to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes expenses for personnel that were diverted to a “substantially different” function mitigating or responding to COVID-19 as long as they are due entirely to the COVID-19 public health emergency. It’s up to each jurisdiction to define its own thresholds of “substantial dedication” and to clearly document the justification for the decision. For example, the State of Michigan, in its own use of the CRF funding, is utilizing a “public safety presumption” that all public safety payroll expenses are presumed to be related to mitigating the COVID pandemic.
If you have any questions about these funding opportunities, please reach out to us.