Jefferson, El Paso, Arapahoe, Denver, and Adams counties received over $550 million in federal coronavirus response money last month.

According to The Denver Post, the five counties received the funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which directed aid to counties with 500,000 or more people.

But because the federal government has not been specific on what this money can be used for, a number of these counties are unsure of exactly how to distribute it.

Jefferson County officials are entertaining the idea of using their portion of the money, which amounts to $101.7 million, for a grant program that would help local businesses struggling due to the pandemic.

But some officials, like Jefferson County treasurer Jerry DiTullio, told The Denver Post they are concerned that the regulations surrounding the funds may change in the future.

$125.7 million of the funds went toward El Paso County, which will keep $83 million and distribute the rest to its cities based on per-capita, leaving Colorado Springs with around $38 million in aid.

Arapahoe County, on the other hand, will decide how to divvy up its $114.5 million in funds based on the specific, coronavirus-related requests of its municipalities.

Denver County received $126.8 million, which it will likely allocate towards medical supply expenses, shelter services, and cleaning and sanitation supplies.

The county has also received other federal grant money, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is requesting more in order to avoid layoffs for police officers, firefighters, teachers, health officials, and more.

Adams County will determine how to utilize its $90 million portion on Tuesday (May 5).

Unfortunately, smaller towns have not received financial aid as of yet, but that may change.

Layfayette Democrat Representative Joe Neguse has proposed a bill that would give $250 billion in federal funds to smaller and medium-sized counties and cities.

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