Town to buy digital signs with CARES Act funding

Franklin N.C. Town Hall photo by Vickie Carpenter

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

The Town of Franklin continues to look at projects and funding possibilities for CARES Act money provided by the federal government. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act is part of North Carolina’s effort to address needs that have developed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has allocated funding for municipalities to address unexpected expenditures such as overtime for employees, purchasing protective equipment and cleaning supplies, and other needs as town’s see fit. 

On Monday night, the town of Franklin approved spending $40,000 of the town’s CARES Act funding to purchase two large electronic messaging signage. 

“The Town Council approved the purchase of two (2) electronic signs to be used for information regarding COVID -19,” said Town Manager Summer Woodard. “The Town Council approved the expenditure up to $40,000. This funding will be submitted for reimbursement to the CARES ACT funding that has been allotted to the Town of Franklin.”

To date, the town of Franklin has spent $123,258.78 in CARES Act funding. Projects that have been identified will be approved by the county commissioner, as the state’s allocation to the municipalities is overseen by county governments. Projects for the town of Franklin include $5,000 for water plant lab supplies, $15,000 for sewer plant septic dump station, more than $20,000 for part-time salaries at both the fire department and police department and nearly $18,000 for personal protective equipment. The message boards stand as the largest single expenditure identified by the town and will be used to help notify residents of important information related to COVID19. 

The town of Highlands received an allotment of CARES Act funding, as did Macon County – all of which must be spent on revenue shortfalls and unexpected expenditures related to COVID19.