Commissioners scramble to allocate CARES Act money before deadline

Brevard County commissioners divvied up much of what remains of the $105 million in CARES Act money the county received from the federal government for coronavirus aid, in a process one commissioner said was turning into a circus.

Before Thursday, about $51.1 million of that money had been unobligated.

Among the more controversial parts of the plan approved at a County Commission workshop Thursday was having each of the five commissioners be responsible for unilaterally designating up to $5 million apiece for entities and programs that would qualify for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money.

Brevard County Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis told commissioners he thought that was illegal, and that he would consider filing a lawsuit to halt the plan from going forward. He said it amounted to a “slush fund,” because the allocations would not have to be approved by a majority of the commission.