$10K cap for CARES funding to small biz, non-profits

By Trina Thomas

The Lyon County Board on Tuesday approved using $2 million in CARES Act funds with a $10,000 limit per small business or non-profit.

The board came to a decision after negotiating what defines a small business. At the federal level, a small business is defined as under 50 people, which the board will use as well at the local level.

The CARES Act committee will go back to the drawing board to create an application to present to the board at the next meeting on Sept. 1.

Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg brought to the Board’s attention that whatever money isn’t used goes back to the state and if the state wouldn’t use it then it would go back to the federal level. This confirmed the idea of including non-profits.

“It sure as hell makes more sense to give it to a non-profit than to the State of Minnesota,” said Commissioner Steve Ritter.

One uncertainty is how many business owners and non-profits will be applying and what amount of money the county will be dispersing.

“I think we need to put on the application that the grant can be up to $10,000, but let’s start and focus on $7,500,” said Sanow.

The thought process behind Sanow’s suggestion isn’t to over-promise and under-deliver, but rather to not have to go back and ask applicants for more documents if the county has leftover funds to disperse.

After several meetings have passed with questions left unanswered, Tuesday’s seemed to finally move the CARES Act conversation closer to the right direction — into the bank accounts of businesses that are relying on much-needed funding during the pandemic.

“We’re not trying to kick a can here. There’s a lot of thought that has to go into something like this. Let’s try to have the application posted no later than the second,” said Moberg.

In other news, the board:

• Approved the appointing of Paul Johnson to the Red Rock Rural Water System Board of Commissioners. 

• Appointed Anderson and Ritter to a committee for the joint economic development agreement with the City of Marshall.

• Approved order as written for County Ditch 14.

• Accepted a low bid of $152,290.25 to Towne and County Excavating LLC. These funds will be used to replace timber box culvert extensions with precast concrete box culvert extensions at four locations on CSAH 11 north of Tracy. 

• Approved a contract with Midwest Contracting, LLC based on a low quote of $49,466. 

• Approved submitting application for grant for the installation of active grade crossing with a 10% match. 

• Approved the hiring of Holly Stelter as Recorder Tech II Hire with a starting wage of $21.50 per hour with a start date on or around Sept. 2. 

• Approved the move of Abby Sullivan-Appel to the Auditor/Treasurer office from the landfill, keeping an hourly rate of $20.46 with a start date on or around Sept. 8.

• Approved the move of Angela Boerboom to the Public Works Accountant I position from the Auditor Treasurer Office, keeping the hourly pay at $30.52 with a start date on or around Sept. 8.