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Deadline extended for Lyon Co. CARES grants

Commissioners also expand eligibility for nonprofits, schools

MARSHALL — Businesses and nonprofits in Lyon County will have a little extra time to apply for CARES grant funding to help with the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lyon County commissioners extended the application deadline to next week, as well as expanding some of the eligibility requirements for nonprofits and schools to apply.

At Tuesday’s county board meeting, Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg said he had a number of people say they didn’t realize they were eligible to apply for grants through the county.

“We’re asking to have the grant period extended through October 30,” Moberg said. He also wanted commissioners to consider whether to expand some of the eligibility requirements for nonprofits to apply for CARES grants.

“We’ve had a lot of nonprofits that applied that had a lot of volunteer hours,” and were unable to qualify for a grant, Moberg said. Under the eligibility requirements, nonprofits had to have at least one full-time employee.

Moberg also brought forward a third request, about whether school districts in Lyon County should be eligible to apply for CARES grant funding. Some Minnesota counties have made CARES funding available to school districts for expenses like personal protective equipment, while others have not, said Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg.

Commissioners approved both the deadline extension and the eligibility expansion. In addition to allowing volunteer organizations with a qualifying budget to apply for grants, commissioners said churches and houses of worship would also be able to apply.

Commissioners also voted to allow schools to apply for county CARES funding. However, school districts would have a different deadline. Applications from schools would be accepted until Nov. 13.

Earlier this year, Lyon County received a total of $3.1 million in funding for COVID-19 response through the federal CARES Act. The county can use the money for its own expenses related to pandemic response, as well as for grants to businesses affected by COVID-19. Commissioners made grants of up to $10,000 available to businesses and nonprofits.

The county has until Dec. 1 to spend the CARES aid it received, Moberg said. After that, unexpended funds must be returned to Minnesota Management and Budget.

CARES grant applications for businesses and nonprofits are available online at the Lyon County website, www.lyonco.org. Completed applications can be emailed to cares@co.lyon.mn.us, or mailed to County Administrator Loren Stomberg. If potential applicants have questions, Stomberg said they should contact him.

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