The county did recently approve $1.5 million for rental assistance, and a few million more dollars have been spent to buy cleaning equipment and transition county employees to working-from-home status.

Up to this point, county officials have struggled to decide how they will spend the majority of their portion of CARES Act dollars.

Demonstrators also made it clear that they weren’t happy with the level of improvements made since the jail trust took over management of the county jail July 1.

During the meeting, Trust Chairwoman Tricia Everest announced a public forum would be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday and urged protesters to let the trust finish its other business.

But since that forum would likely be held after the trust and the county commissioners officially approved the CARES Act allocation and, at that point, the trust still had not agreed to let demonstrators voice their frustrations, the crowd became furious.

Chanting accompanied by signs and a megaphone drowned out trustees as they tried to carry on the meeting.

Eventually, protesters were told they could address trustees, and Everest said any decision around CARES Act dollars would be held off “until we’ve heard from you.”

Everest also agreed to spend a night in the jail, answering a demand from some protesters who said many of the jail trust members had no idea what it was like to be kept in the dilapidated building.

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