Sussex County has received $277 million in COVID-19 relief

Sussex County. Locally, the federal money has helped Sussex County Community College, Sussex Airport, and the Newton Housing Authority, among other beneficiaries.

04 Aug 2020 | 03:34

Sussex County has received an estimated $277 million through the CARES Act, a major economic coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress and signed into law in March.

Sussex County has reported 1,286 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Locally, the CARES Act money has helped Sussex County Community College, which received $1,156,835; Sussex Airport, which received $10,000; and the Newton Housing Authority, which received $22,021; among other beneficiaries. The total averages to $2,900 per Sussex County resident, said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) on July 28.

“From early on, North Jersey was in the eye of the COVID-19 storm — with both a health crisis and an economic crisis,” Gottheimer said. “Through our calculations, based on the latest data we have, and averages coming to Jersey residents, we are estimating that New Jersey’s Fifth District alone has received $3 billion to date from the CARES Act — averaging out to $4,021 per Fifth District resident.”

Bergen County, with $2.38 billion and 20,341 coronavirus cases, received the lion’s share in the Fifth District. Warren County (1,321 cases) received $216 million, and Passaic County (17,348 cases) received $122 million.

These estimates combine the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to the small businesses, the direct Economic Impact Payments to residents, the $600 federal unemployment supplemental payments, and direct federal grants to hospitals, non-profits, food banks, colleges, and technical schools.

Sussex County has received $112 million in Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and $80 million in federal unemployment payments, not including state-funded payments, Gottheimer said.

County awaits reimbursement

On Aug. 3, the Sussex County Freeholders said the county has yet to receive reimbursement from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office of more than $690,000 for money that the county spent from its own budget for COVID-19 expenses, including testing and personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Although on Friday morning during the Governor’s office conference call with county officials throughout the state, New Jersey’s Department of Health announced it would be allocating $32.3 million to county and local health departments for testing sites, contact tracing and other COVID-19 related costs, with $13.7 million for county and $18.6 million to local health departments, no further details were released,” the freeholders said.

“Being mistreated and abandoned by Trenton is nothing new for Sussex County,” said Freeholder Josh Hertzberg.