COVID-19 Federal Funding

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The Porter County Auditor's Office plays a key role in accounting for the county's federal grants, including those awarded for the county's COVID-19 response. To enhance accountability and transparency of your federal tax dollars, we are pleased to provide the following information detailing the federal funding that Porter County has received to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis. 

This page details federal funding to Porter County through the American Rescue Plan Act and the CARES Act. This page will continue to be updated as needed, so please visit this page again!

American Rescue Plan Act

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. Among its many other provisions, the Act establishes the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which includes $65.1 billion to counties throughout the nation with the allocations based on population. Porter County government is eligible for up to $33 million. Porter County has received its first half, with the other half anticipated in 2022. Before any of the funds can be spent, county leadership must take certain actions, including passage of an ordinance outlining a plan and approval of all appropriations. The funds must be committed by the end of 2024 and projects completed by the end of 2026. Status updates will be given on this page as they occur.

For more information about the "Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund" contained in the ARPA, visit this U.S. Treasury webpage: Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

CARES Act

CARES act graph latest (2)


The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Among its many other provisions, the Act provided $338.9 billion in aid to state and local governments. Porter County government has been the recipient of six CARES Act grants. 

Below is a summary of each grant program listed by the largest to smallest grant revenues received.  

Coronavirus Relief Fund

  • Federal agency: Treasury 
  • State agency: Indiana Finance Authority
  • Total awarded to Porter County government: $5.5 million
  • Status: Ended                                                                                                                                                         

Of the $2.6 billion awarded to Indiana through the CARES Act, the state allocated $300 million to local government units through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), administered through the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA). Each county, city and town in Indiana was eligible for COVID-related reimbursements based on population. Units had the ability to award part of their allocations to other units of local government, such as libraries.

The allocation to PCRF Pie Chart and tableorter County totaled $8.7 million; of this, county government was eligible for up to $5.5 million. County departments paid for unforeseen and unbudgeted COVID expenditures, then we in the Auditor's Office reviewed the claims for eligibility, prepared the claims forms for approval by the County Commissioners, and then submitted the claims for reimbursement. In late September, 2020, the state encouraged units to take an alternate approach by submitting public health and public safety payroll costs for reimbursement, as allowed by the CARES Act.

The pie chart here shows the categories of COVID expenditures made by Porter County departments. As shown, the compliance category made up the largest expenditure type. These projects included the purchase of fever readers for county buildings, telework equipment for county employees, and enhanced wi-fi services. Once their expenditures were reimbursed, county departments were able to use their budgets for other qualified expenditures. If departments were not able to use their "restored" appropriation by year's end, the reimbursement helped to shore up the funds' cash balance for future use.

The largest COVID expenditures ($10,000 or more per department) are delineated below. For a more detailed list, see the link under "Additional Information" below. 

                                                                                                             

ExpenditureDepartmentCost
Fever readers, distanced detectorsAssorted $   299,940
Employee COVID testing, suppliesCommissioners     106,603
Expanded wi-fi, virtual programming and more Porter County Public Library       60,588
Jail Medical UnitSheriff       22,500
Laptops for teleworkIT        14,063
Temporary restrooms due to building restrictions, PPE, otherIndiana Dunes Tourism        12,608
PPE, sneeze shields, cleaning supplies Facilities        12,067


By far, most of the reimbursement Porter County government received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund consisted of public safety and public health payroll costs. Counties and municipalities were able to recover certain eligible payroll costs from March through the end of September. The State Board of Accounts allowed units to receipt all or a portion of their payroll reimbursements in their general funds, allowing units more flexibility over the future use of the grant money. For Porter County, the payroll reimbursement totaled $4,952,843, broken down as follows: 

Public Safety Payroll For deposit into County General Fund$4,273,836
Public Health PayrollFor reimbursement to Health Department Fund     679,007

Total:$4,952,843


Additional information:

For a detailed listing of all Coronavirus Relief Fund reimbursements received by Porter County government on a per-department basis, click here.

For a variety of information about Indiana's Coronavirus Relief Fund, visit the Indiana Finance Authority's website  here.

To see the CRF allocations for each county and municipality in Indiana, click on the following IFA document: Allocations grouped by county


Safety Awareness Coronavirus Relief Fund

  • Federal agency: Treasury
  • State agency: Indiana Finance Authority
  • Total awarded: $550,227
  • Status: Ended

Administered by the IFA, this grant program became available to Indiana counties, cities, and towns in late 2020. This program was designed to enhance public awareness about COVID regulations. Governmental units were eligible for reimbursement totaling 10% of their total Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations (see above). Like the CRF program, payroll expenditures were eligible for reimbursement if they were associated with safety awareness programs. The Porter County Health Department has two safety awareness projects: 1) a public awareness campaign consisting of radio and digital advertising and 2) a monitoring program consisting of event monitors who enforce compliance with local and state COVID regulations at events and establishments. The funding received will be deposited in the Health Department fund for future needs.

ISDH Test Site grant

  • Federal agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Treasury
  • State agency: Indiana Department of Health
  • Total awarded (as of February, 2021): $260,480
  • Total grant: $320,960
  • Status: Active

The Porter County Health Department is the recipient of this grant, which funds two COVID sites, one in Valparaiso and one in Portage. The sites opened in the fall of 2020 and are expected to continue operating through spring, 2021. The grant initially was awarded for $200,000 for testing only. The Health Department in 2021 received an amendment for an additional $120,960 for its COVID vaccination program. The additional grant revenue will be distributed in three phases. The health department pays payroll expenditures directly out of this fund for the operation of the two clinics.

Secretary of State's Election Expenditure Grant

  • Federal agency:  Treasury
  • State agency: Secretary of State
  • Total awarded to Porter County government: $128,737.80
  • Status: Ended

The Indiana Secretary of State's office reimbursed counties for additional costs incurred in both the primary and general elections of 2020. Submitted by the Porter County Clerk, this grant reimbursed the county's general fund for items including PPE and shields for election workers and additional postage costs related to the increase in mail-in ballots.

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute grant

  • Federal agency: Department of Justice
  • State agency: ICJI
  • Total awarded (as of Dec. 31, 2020): $89,442.80
  • Total eligible $380,376.93.
  • Status: Active

This grant, awarded through the ICJI's Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding, is a multi-agency agreement between Porter County and several municipal police agencies. The grant reimburses COVID-related costs for personnel, equipment, supplies and other categories. The grant consists of four reporting periods, with program reports required each quarter. The funding awarded so far represents the first reporting period in 2020. 

AgencyCategoryCost
Q1 ending 9/30/2020:

Kouts PoliceSupplies$528
Ogden Dunes PoliceSupplies, personnel$1,035
Porter County Sheriff's PoliceEquipment: Mobile Room Sterilizer$62,125

Supplies, personnel $25,755
Q2 ending 12/31/2020:  No activity
Q3 ending 3/31/2021

Q4 ending 6/30/2021


Indiana Arts Commission Memorial Opera House grant

  • Federal agency: Treasury
  • State agency: Indiana Arts Commission
  • Total awarded to Porter County government: $28,637.05
  • Status: Ended

Initially approved for $26,033.68, the recipient of this grant, the Memorial Opera House, received a second round of funding for an additional $2,603.37. Per the grant agreement, the grant revenues were used to reimburse the MOH fund for salary costs incurred during the year. MOH is a self-supported county venue that raises its revenues through ticket sales, rentals, and other revenues. The MOH sustained significant funding losses because of its closure due to COVID-19.