Follow the CARES money: Anne Arundel spent $44M so far on overtime, business reopenings, eviction protections and more

Anne Arundel County has spent $44 million of $101 million in CARES Act funding so far. A large portion of the money has been used to purchase personal protective equipment, with the goal of securing a 14-day stockpile.

Anne Arundel County spent $5 million helping small businesses reopen safely; $3 million to fend off evictions and utility shut-offs for renters; $2 million for residents unable to qualify for unemployment insurance and $1 million for three new ambulances.

Since April 23, the county has spent more than $44 million of $101 million received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a federal funding program supporting state and local governments amid the pandemic. The marquee expenditures for humanitarian programs make up only a portion of the total amount spent so far. Significant funding has also gone to employee mileage reimbursement, translators for the call center, lunches for Emergency Operations Center workers, and bulk orders of hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment.


The Department of Health has received more than $21 million so far, accounting for 21.32% of the total relief fund, and the largest allocation to any department. Outside of health, and protective gear for county employees in every department, much funding has gone to personnel costs and grants for local nonprofits and the City of Annapolis,

County Executive Steuart Pittman said the CARES Act money has allowed him to set up programs for vulnerable people that would otherwise not have been possible, including food and rental relief.


“I want to use our CARES money to address the most urgent needs of people who are falling through the holes in the safety net — the people who this pandemic has hit the hardest,” Pittman said. “We’ve gotta beat this thing and the CARES money is helping to make that possible.”

The CARES Act money is guided by specific rules, allowing use for expenses after March 1, when the legislation was signed into law by President Donald Trump. The money must be spent by Dec. 30 of this year.

County officials expect needs — such as housing counseling and food services — to continue after that deadline.

“We have to trust that something will happen,” Pittman said. “The whole country is in the same boat and the cost of just doing no more after Dec. 31 is high enough that I believe future funding will be coming.”

If Congress doesn’t act, Pittman said there will be tough county budgeting decisions ahead to continue as many services as possible.

The data used in this story comes from Open Arundel, Anne Arundel County’s online public data platform. The numbers represent purchases made by the county through the end of July.

The health department has spent more than half of its budgeted $21 million CARES funding on personal protective equipment:

  • About $5 million was spent on 500,000 isolation gowns, N95 respirators, disposable face masks, face shields, and 20,000 pairs of safety goggles.
  • $1.7 million purchase secured 300,000 N95 masks for the health department.
  • $1.2 million was used to purchase 500,000 more isolation gowns, 100 infrared thermometer scanners and 2,000 forehead thermometers
  • $475,000 to purchase 500,000 3-ply procedural masks

County spokesperson Chris Trumbauer said the county’s costs were high especially in the early days of the pandemic, while they tried to secure stockpiles of protective gear that was in high demand.


Reopening is linked to the county’s emergency stockpile of protective equipment, with Pittman and public health officials targeting a two-week supply of personal protective gear. This goal had not been met as of Thursday, according to the Department of Health’s reopening dashboard.

The Department of Health is the only department that shows a balance in the “business and travel category.” The $17,000 accounts for mileage reimbursement for employees who don’t have access to a county-owned vehicle, Trumbauer said.

Funding for nearly 40 temporary employees the county is hiring to help with contact tracing, testing and other health initiatives will also come out of the Department of Health’s CARES Act funding.

The Department of Health has received two additional grants, totaling about $480,000. About $300,000 has been spent as of July 31. The health department is also named in a $496,900 grant that includes money for police, sheriffs and the detention center.

Aging and disabilities

When the virus began spreading in Anne Arundel County, The Department of Aging and Disabilities had to pivot many of their services — closing senior centers and shifting to meal deliveries and daily wellness check-ins with residents over the phone. The department has received more than $112,000 so far in CARES Act funding.

At least 83% of the funds allocated so far have been spent on food for the elderly as part of a meal delivery service, protective gear, hand sanitizer and disinfectants.


Personnel costs for this department go toward reassigning contractual workers from other departments and leave for some employees who were previously assigned to nutritional sites that are not open now.

The Department of Aging and Disabilities also received at least five other grants, totaling about $1.27 million. Most of these grants are specifically for meals and nutrition. So far, the department has spent about $540,000 from this fund.

Office of Emergency Management

The costs listed in this category are primarily related to activating the Emergency Operations Center, which is not otherwise open. This cost about $39,000, including lunch for workers.

The contractual services cost of about $1,093 was used to ensure there are translators available for the phone bank.

Fire Department

In addition to purchasing basic safety and personal protective equipment, the fire department also plans to purchase three new ambulances.

Every time an ambulance transports a person who is suspected of or has COVID-19, the vehicle is taken out of service and decontaminated. The ambulances were ordered on May 21 and are expected to arrive in the county around December. The $1,041,934 has not yet been paid, but it will come out of the CARES Act fund, Trumbauer said.


The fire department has spent more than $63,000 of CARES Act money on overtime for firefighters and paramedics responding to COVID-19 calls.

Police Department

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The police department has been charging portions of their payroll to the CARES Act fund, allowed through a provision in the U.S. Treasury guidance for local government.

More than $4.3 million of the $4.5 million departmental allotments is labeled under personnel costs. This includes roughly $27,000 in COVID-19 related sick leave after exposure or testing positive for the virus.

Chief Administrative Office

The $16.8 million in funding toward the Chief Administrative Office has been used exclusively for grants and other contributions, including $4.25 million for the City of Annapolis to respond to the pandemic.

At least $7 million was funneled to Anne Arundel Community Development Services for rental relief, including $3 million for the county’s Eviction Prevention Program and $1 million to help local nonprofits. The remaining $3 million went to supporting various food assistance programs throughout the county.

The Chief Administrative Office also granted more than $5 million to Anne Arundel County’s Economic Development Corp. for a grant program to help local small businesses reopen. The $5 million grant helped 795 businesses reopen safely.


Recreation and Parks

Almost all of the CARES Act money allocated to the Department of Recreation and Parks has gone to personnel costs. Recreation and Parks handled child care needs of essential workers in the county in the early months of the pandemic when nearly everything was closed. Reassigned contractual employees were paid with CARES Act funding.

Another $29,000 in purchases included personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.