There are eight New Jersey counties who received federal stimulus funding from the CARES Act including Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Last week, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone said that their plan was to discuss how to build guidelines with the other counties in an effort to properly attribute all the money.

The plan in Monmouth County, who received $108-million, is to distribute the funds across their 53 municipalities for Covid-19 related expenses endured from March 1 through December 31 of 2020.

Ocean County, who received $106-million, is now laying out their plan to help the communities recover some of the funding lost due to the shutdowns from the pandemic and other Covid-19 related expenses.

All 33 municipalities mayors met via a conference call late last week with the Ocean County Freeholders Jack Kelly and Director Joe Vicari to develop a plan to help the county.

Freeholder Vicari reiterates that the funds can only be used for Covid-19 related expenses, so he wants towns to be ready for when guidelines are set.

"We want all of the towns to know that there will be reimbursement by the federal government and we want them to keep strict records and itemize meticulously such as for an audit," Vicari said.

Even with all the federal stimulus funding they're receiving, there are also 111-pages of regulations, Vicari said, that need to be followed.

"We can use this money for any and all of the 33 municipalities in Ocean County but it's not a free-bee, there's strict accountability," Vicari said. "It cannot be used for school funding, shortfalls, businesses...it can only be used for the costs that are involved during the coronavirus pandemic such as PPE's and overtime related to the testing sites."

Ocean County is hoping to have a plan developed within the next seven to ten days.

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