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Bridgeport hoping to spend $197,000 in CARES Act funds

BRIDGEPORT — The village of Bridgeport received $197,621 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding and hopes to spend it on necessary public safety items for the village.

Bridgeport Council briefly discussed the matter and passed an ordinance during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting was held via teleconference due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

Chris Kirby, fiscal officer for the village, gave his financial report during the meeting, in which he announced the village has secured the funding but an ordinance must first be passed by council to finalize the funds.

“The COVID relief money, $197,621, was deposited in the bank today. A lot of that will go toward the general fund, to the fire department fund or EMS fund,” he said.

Kirby said the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission will then have to approve all of the intended allocations. The commission will meet in mid-December to approve the suggested items for the CARES Act funds. The funding is only to be spent on essential public safety items, he said.

Village Solicitor Michael Shaheen explained the ordinance council must pass is to allow for the additional funds in the budget.

“It will basically allow the village to reset specific line items, taking into consideration the additional money,” he said.

The ordinance had to be passed during the meeting to meet the submission deadline, Kirby said. Council unanimously passed the emergency ordinance.

Kirby said the village along with the financial planning commission will determine what items to spend the money on. Some of the funding may be spent on a new police cruiser and air packs for the fire department, he said.

Police Chief John Bumba said the village is in need of a new cruiser to replace an older model vehicle. The police department currently only has three cruisers, one of which needs to be replaced.

Kirby said any remaining funds the village does not spend may be used toward the village’s debt which still remains over $500,000 between the general fund and the street fund. Any funds the village fails to spend will revert back to the county.

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