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How Houston County cities spent their coronavirus relief funds

A viewer reached out asking why Centerville city employees didn't receive coronavirus relief money for working during the pandemic like Warner Robins city workers

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — A viewer reached out asking why Centerville city employees didn't receive coronavirus relief money for working during the pandemic like Warner Robins city workers did. We checked in with all three cities in Houston County to find out more about where that relief money went.

You may remember back in November when the City of Warner Robins surprised employees with a bonus. Brian White says that money came in handy.

"Well, it meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to everybody, because, one thing -- we weren't expecting to get it,"  said White.

Firefighters and sworn police officers each received $2,000. Other full-time employees received $1,000. Part-time employees received $500. Mayor Randy Toms says the city received $4,063,070 to cover pandemic expenses some of the money was left over.

"$1.2 million we did end up using for bonuses for all employees," said Mayor Toms.

This has some asking why city of Centerville employees didn't receive their own bonus.

Kate Hogan with the city of Centerville says they received $412,709. Hogan says the city was reimbursed only for specific expenses.

"Laptop computers for teleworking, thermometers, PPE, hand sanitizer and professional cleaning for the city buildings and wages of public safety employees," 

The city of Perry received $936,709. City Manager Lee Gilmour says they followed their grant requirements.

"Reimburse costs for first responders, salaries, other employees who are impacted by COVID, for example, the fire department and public works and then also for direct COVID-related expenses, like masks, disinfectants," said Gilmour.

The U.S. Treasury provided Georgia with approximately $4.1 billion for coronavirus-related expenses from the CARES Act. About $1.8 billion could be transferred to local governments for coronavirus expenses.