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At the September 7th Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners Meeting the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners discussed the funding received from American Rescue and the upcoming outreach session.


Commissioner Shaun Van Doren gave a report that touched on many important subjects including the upcoming outreach sessions:


Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren

“As a member of the American Rescue Fund Committee, I can report that outreach sessions are now being conducted soliciting suggestions for uses of the Funds received by the County. The Human Services Department held a virtual outreach session last week soliciting recommendations from the social services community.


There will be an economic recovery outreach session for the business community, conducted virtually by the County’s Economic Development office, on Thursday.


And the Administrator and Chief of Staff will host a virtual outreach session on September 14th at 5:30 pm that is open to the public.


Those interested can sign up through the County website or by going to hunterdon-rescue-fund-resources.com, where there is also information on the federal regulations governing the funds’ use.


There is a great deal of money involved, $12 million this year and another $12 million next year. I believe it is very important for the County to have public input on potential uses of the funds and I look forward to the reports from those who are conducting the sessions.”



Commissioner Matthew Holt

Commissioner Matt Holt who is also a member of the American Rescue Fund Committee; continued:

“I am looking forward to the reports on the various Community Outreach sessions we directed to be held.


I also encourage all interested parties to sign up for the September 14th public outreach session.


For those interested in the details behind the federal grant funds, the rescue fund website provides valuable information.


As I have noted previously, there are a substantial amount of funds involved with this grant, $24 million over two years, and the Board will treat these monies in exactly the same conservative, fiscally prudent manner we approach all county finances.


I believe we should be looking to strategic use of the funds to establish long term recovery from the pandemic. I will look with interest at the public responses.


We have reached out to various authorities on the potential uses for the funds and it has been determined that the most recent storm related damage does not qualify for the use of American Rescue monies."

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While Hunterdon County’s Board of Commissioners await finalized U.S. Treasury rules providing direction for the use of American Rescue Funds (ARF), the County has banked the $12 million grant from the federal government, has the financial controls in place to manage the grant, and is developing a community outreach plan for input on the uses of the funds, County Commissioner Matt Holt has reported.

The Board of Commissioners, at the July 20th Board meeting, acted to establish a mechanism for the expenditure of the funds under New Jersey Budget Law, approving a ‘Chapter 159’ resolution. “As I have previously stated, we take the responsibility for the use of these funds most seriously and will apply our high standard of fiscal integrity to the process,” Commissioner Holt, a member of the ARF Committee, stated.

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Media Release: Commissioner Matt Holt, Commissioner Shaun Van Doren

Citing the County’s track record of excellence in implementing financial controls, Hunterdon County’s Board of Commissioners took action to prepare for the receipt of more than $24 million in funds from the new American Rescue Plan, by authorizing the Board’s Budget Committee to develop the initial plan for the administration of the funds.


County Commissioners Matt Holt and Shaun C. Van Doren serve on the Board’s Budget Committee. Holt, a longtime member of the Budget Committee, stated, “The U.S. Treasury Department will prepare rules regarding the use and accounting for the funds. The one thing that new law states the funds cannot be used for, unfortunately, is to reduce taxes.


Which is an acknowledgement of who now runs Washington. It is reported that the County is in line for over $24 million which can be used, according to various reports, to pay COVID-related expenses; cover lost revenues due to the pandemic; maintain critical services; provide additional assistance to residents and small businesses; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, among other uses.”


Van Doren, who served as the Board’s Director last year, said, “The Budget Committee will be reviewing the parameters set down in the law to determine how and where best to direct the monies. The Committee will analyze the County’s current financial status and make recommendations to the full Board of County Commissioners.”


Holt, who has served as Board Director on three occasions, added, “Our taxpayers here in Hunterdon County can rest assured that the significant and detailed financial controls and systems of accountability that are in place for the county budget and tax dollars will be also be implemented to ensure that every dime of these funds are managed and expended properly and appropriately.”


Holt pointed out, “The county’s financial controls have been certified for four consecutive years by the independent auditor, who has issued an audit with no issues or recommendations, often called a clean audit, for each of those four years.


That fact should give everyone confidence in how the new funds will be handled.” Holt said he expects there will be many claimants seeking access to the funds. “In whatever manner the federal funds are ultimately distributed, in my opinion, it must be done fairly, transparently, and with full accountability,” the Commissioner concluded.

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