Below are the communications between David Levinsky, and myself, regarding the Cares Act money that I recently wrote an article about.
I requested a comment several days ago via telephone but you have not responded. I am sure by now you have read my article, or saw my video, regarding the Bridge Commission and the mishandling of the funds. If not, here is a link.
Justy a couple of questions.
1. Where is the $60,000 from the Cares Act that the county sent back to the Bridge Commission on 7-25 of this year?
2. Was the money given to the three employees of the BCBC as stated in the accounting for the Cares Act money? If so, why was this money paid to them, and did the county approve of those payments or was that a decision made by the Bridge Commission?
3. Was the loan for Auricle Hearing Aid Center processed, if not, why is there no resolution accounting for the money being rescinded and relieving Auricle of the loan?
David responded one day later:
Hello Mr. Duff. Please consider the below statement my response to your October 19 inquiry.
-Dave Levinsky, Burlington County Public Information Office
From the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Burlington County Board of Commissioners’ policy was for all of Burlington County government to provide as much assistance as possible to county residents and small businesses during the unprecedented health crisis.
The Health Emergency Loan Program, also known as HELP, became an important part of the County’s response and successfully aided county businesses with their recovery.
Here are the true facts related to the HELP program:
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce approved Burlington County’s application for $660,000 in federal funding to create a revolving loan fund to alleviate the sudden and severe economic impacts the pandemic caused on Burlington County businesses and aid them with their economic recovery and resiliency. A total of $600,000 was reserved for the business loans and $60,000 was authorized to be used to defray the expense of administering the new program.
The Burlington County Commissioners approved the creation of the program and assigned the Burlington County Bridge Commission and Burlington County Department of Economic Development and Regional Planning to administer it as a supplement to the County’s existing small business loan programs. The County Commissioners elected to make the loans interest-free so that businesses impacted by the pandemic would not face any additional expense when paying back the loans.
Loans were capped at $50,000 and were restricted for business-related purchases, payroll or other expenses or improvements. The maximum payback period for the loans was set at ten years and borrowers were required to have sufficient collateral in business or personal real estate to secure the loans.
Auricle Hearing Aid Center was one of the first applicants for the new loans and was determined to be eligible for the maximum $50,000 loan available under the program, however, the business ultimately declined to finalize a loan agreement and never received any funding from the program. The money authorized for the loan was never paid and it is completely accounted for.
The $60,000 authorized for administration of the program was paid to the Bridge Commission to reimburse the agency for portions of the salaries of employees in the Department of Economic Development and Regional Planning for their work administering the program and for the cost of supplies used in the program’s administration. Those employees received no direct funding from the program, and all monies authorized for business loans were either issued to approved businesses or returned to the U.S. Department of Commerce when the program expired.
These are the true facts surrounding the loan program and the County calls upon you to correct or retract your October 18 online blog report Corruption at the Burlington County Bridge Commission Exposed! Where’s the missing $60,000? – News from where the sun don’t shine. (rabblerouser.blog) and your October 17 YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0awnvBHG6w
I responded minutes later:
Can you provide me with the resolution rescinding the funds for Auricle, as the County did for Reach Wellness?
Also, if that is the case, why did one of the county solicitors call an employee at the bridge asking “where’s the fucking money”?
Could you provide something in writing from the federal government that shows the $60,000 was meant to defray the costs? Can you provide with a link to the program rules stating that $60,000 was allowed to used to defray costs? Was there a percentage that could be used, and or a certain amount allotted?
Also, can you let me know why Auricle decided not to go through with the loan program, as well as Reach Wellness?
Since you responded, could you also respond to the article below?
Four days have passed, and David has yet to respond. David also did not respond to why the resolution for the Auricle Hearing Aid Center approving $50,000 loan was never rescinded via another resolution, as was the case for the Cares Act loan that Reach Wellness decided not to accept after it was originally approved.
I cannot retract my story without some actual proof of what David claims to be true, nor could he in his former life as a journalist, but just like most of the media in the area, he’s also bought and paid for by the machine.