CARES Act helping Keystone

Leslie Silverman

The town of Keystone has approximately $77,500 in COVID-19 Cares Act money allocated to it from the state, according to Cassandra Ott, the town’s finance officer.

That figure is based on the population of the town.

While that money is earmarked for any COVID-19 related town expenses, the money is only available until December. The process for submitting receipts for COVID-19 related expenses is “extremely easy,” according to Ott.

In most cases she is seeing a three-day turnaround from the time of submission to the time of monetary reimbursement. The application is submitted online with the state following up via email for more information when necessary.

While Keystone likely will not use all of the funds the state has allocated to it, a large portion of that money will go to help cover the cost of law enforcement. The town is waiting on figures from the county for sheriff services that will be reimbursable.

The town has so far been reimbursed for $4,873.59 worth of COVID-19 related expenses. This includes a new sound system which the town uses during its meetings, IT costs like those incurred for employees who worked from home during the height of the crisis and the town’s conference call plan which allowed people to attend meetings remotely.

The town was also reimbursed for new leather chairs that sit in the Keystone Community Center lobby. This is the overflow for the public area during town board executive sessions. The leather is easy to clean and keep sanitary, versus the cloth chairs, which had previously occupied this space.

The library benefited from the new chairs, as well. The library itself has received about $2,000 through the library Cares Act grant. The money is being used to update computers in the facility.

According to town librarian Robin Scott, the library had to submit a technology plan to be eligible for the grant. The library must also adhere to the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

“We have a sonic firewall,” Scott said. “We have to be able to turn it on and off.”

This will allow the library to block obscene material but also allow for legitimate research to take place when warranted. This also adheres to the grant’s requirement to protect the safety of minors.

The library board will discuss the new measures at its next board meeting.

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