Two public hearings were held during the Marshall County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday.  Ginny Munroe from Troyer Group explained the reason for the first public hearing for the COVID Phase II Grant that was started last fall by Jerry Chavez from the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation. The grant provided $250,000 for small business loans due to the pandemic.

Munroe said the OCRA (Office of Community and Rural Affairs) guidelines were not followed for the public hearing including the publishment of notice with specific language and a sign-in sheet for those in attendance.

On Monday a public hearing was opened for the phase I grant application of $250,000 for the MicroLoan program for small businesses due to COVID-19.  It was stated that applications received for assistance were more than the amount available.  There were no other comments during the public hearing.

The commissioners also conducted a second public hearing for a new COVID Phase III Grant is in the amount of $250,000.   The grant application would include $58,000 for a shortfall in the COVID Phase II Micro Loan program and additional funds of $192,000 for assistance to food banks in the county during the pandemic. United Way offered to provide the $50,000 in local matching funds for the grant.  No other comments were received.

In related business, Munroe said the COVID Phase I Grant was for the message boards and at that time when the application was approved there was no requirement for procurement for a grant administrator.   OCRA is now requesting that.  The county must send notice to grant administrators including Munroe and ask if there is interest in the opportunity.  After receiving any proposals, the commissioners will make a decision on who will serve as the grant administrator.

Munroe will be back at the March 1st Commissioner meeting to update them on the grants and on March 8th she will appear before the County Council with a request to apply for the Phase III COVID Grant.