Macomb, Oakland counties say millions in federal aid of pandemic relief is on the way

Help is on the way in both Macomb and Oakland counties in the form of federal aid.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel both announced Tuesday that millions of dollars in federal funding is coming.

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act is designed to help counties manage the effects of the global pandemic.

"Today I just want to give people the understanding or head's up, we got a lot of money," said Hackel. "We are talking more than half of our general fund budget, that is a substantial amount of money. With that I want to be as transparent as we can, and let people know we plan on getting that money out there into the hands of the folks that need it, sooner than later."

Oakland County is receiving $219 million in CARES Act funding.

"We're going to make - with approval of the board of commissioners, we are going to make a $30 million fund for grants - not loans - but grants," Coulter said.

The money will go to cities, villages and townships in Oakland County.

"We've heard about expenses like public safety, staff overtime to do various COVID-related things, certainly PPE which has hit almost every community pretty hard."

The county executives working aggressively to start getting the money out later this spring.

"We wanted to make sure that at least this first round of distributions goes out by June so that our local communities can have more confidence and an understanding of what they may be getting," Coulter said.

"The state of emergency gives us the ability to be a little more fluid with what we're doing, but everything needs to have a check and balance," Hackel said.

Both Coulter and Hackel say this is just the beginning of getting their counties back on track.

"Now the focus is how do we get businesses prepared and how do help take care of the economic challenges that they have had," Hackel said.