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CARES Act

Metropolitan Community College

 A Nebraska community college is using federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for tuition and books for high schoolers from the state to take courses this summer. The Omaha World-Herald reports that officials at the Metropolitan Community College hope their newly approved offer will pull in thousands of students. The college saw about a 15% drop in summer enrollment from 2019 to 2020, said Bill Owen, the college’s vice president for strategic initiatives.

Omaha World Herald

Douglas County plans to spend $10 million in federal coronavirus aid on its new justice center complex. The county's board approved the expenditure Tuesday after hearing hours of debate. The $10 million will pay for additional costs for the center, which has an estimated $120 million price tag. Opponents say the federal funds should be used to to fight the coronavirus pandemic, not on the justice center project. Douglas County received $166 million in CARES Act money for certain COVID-19 relief expenses.

Nebraska will reopen a series of federally funded grant programs to help small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nebraska still has $160 million available from the $1 billion it received under the federal CARES Act. The state will accept applications for assistance from 10 a.m. Wednesday until Nov. 13 on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Douglas County Board has allocated $20 million to OCF.  $10 million of that is allocated for Arts, Culture, and Entertainment organizations, and $10 million will support Community Services.  Applications are due to the Foundation by 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 23 and technical assistance is available through the Foundation for any nonprofits applying for funding.

Vice President of Community Investment, Kali Baker, joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the webinars which explain the intricate process of applying for this grant money.  Since the money has federal origins, this grant process is very different from the usual Omaha Community Foundation grant process.

In addition, Mike and Kali discuss the COVID-19 Response Fund Impact as well as the release of the Landscape 2020 report.

For more information on the grants and the process for applying, one can go to https://omahafoundation.org/news/ocf-and-douglas-county-announce-launch-of-cares-act-funding-application-for-local-nonprofits/

Additional eligibility and application details for nonprofits can be found at the following web pages: https://omahafoundation.org/CARESACE and https://omahafoundation.org/CARESNP.  OCF will also be hosting two webinars for eligible nonprofits to provide an overview of the process, and answer questions. Webinar details can be found via the links above.  https://omahafoundation.org/community/douglas-county-cares-arts-culture-and-entertainment-program/

Omaha Public Libraries To Gradually Reopen This Month

Sep 2, 2020

The City of Omaha is opening some of it's libraries.  The city says five branches across the city will open September 21st.  It comes after Douglas County and the state of Nebraska funneled 60-million dollars in federal CARES Act money to Omaha to cover budget shortages caused by COVID-19.  The city says it wants to open three more libraries on September 28th, with the remaining four coming at a later date. All 12 Omaha library branches have been closed since March.

The Douglas County board has abandoned a plan to spend $1.85 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to buy a mobile command center for the county sheriff’s office. Sheriff Tim Dunning withdrew his request for the RV-like truck because he said his office couldn’t find a manufacturer who could build and deliver one in 2020, when the federal aid must be spent. Officials had argued that the command center could have helped officials respond to the coronavirus outbreak by supporting mass vaccination efforts in the area.

Another $60 Million In CARES Act Money Goes To Omaha

Aug 26, 2020
KFOR

The City of Omaha is getting more CARES Act money. The Douglas County Board will give the city 30-million dollars to cover COVID-19 related losses. Last week the state also gave Omaha 30-million dollars in CARES Act funding. The city says the combined 60 million dollars will close the budget gap caused by the pandemic.

Better Business Bureau Warns Against Fearmongering Scams

Jul 30, 2020

The Better Business Bureau is warning against scammers preying on fear. Better Business Bureau Investigator Steve Baker said scammers will pretend to be the I-R-S and take victims' bank information to withdraw money from the accounts. The Omaha Regional President and CEO said scammers are also claiming to be the C-D-C. Those scammers tell victims they can give them access to CARES Act funding. Baker said government agencies won't call asking for your personal information.

Douglas County officials are providing residents with financial help.  The county board voted yesterday to set aside four-million-dollars in CARES Act money for utility assistance for residents who are behind in the bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The vote comes as the Omaha Public Power District plans to mail disconnect notices starting today.

State health officials announced 189 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 17,415 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 240 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 42 percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says counties that require masks in government offices will not be eligible for coronavirus relief funds.