Municipal officials will now have until Oct. 29 to submit applications for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program.

The Executive Office of Administration and Finance announced the deadline extension Tuesday, pushing it back from the original date of June 30.

Roughly $502 million in federal CARES Act funding is available to municipalities for eligible expenses, which include expenditures that were unbudgeted and necessary due to the public health emergency, such as social distancing measures and equipment, COVID-19 related legal fees and pandemic election costs.

The funds can not be used to shore up a budget shortfall. In some circumstances, cities and towns can also apply for pre-approval to access funds between Oct. 29 and Dec. 31, when CARES Act funding expires.

The Massachusetts Municipal Association will host a webinar June 10 at 1 p.m. in conjunction with the Federal Funds Office to answer questions about the program.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

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