COVID-19 Money Available To County, Cities

Ideas Needed To Spend $922,000 Allotted To RepCo

By Deb Hadachek Telescope News
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Any local unit of government with expenses related to COVID19–or ideas on ways to protect citizens from virus outbreaks in the future–needs to contact Republic County Clerk Kathleen Marsicek, pronto.

At least for now, county commissioners agreed Marsicek should be the clearinghouse for requests for $922,000 allotted to Republic County in the first round of SPARK (Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas) funds through the State of Kansas. The money is part of the state’s share of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus plan as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The search is on for an individual or company who would work part-time to coordinate requests and collect all the data needed to apply for funds.

The problem: There’s no guidance from the state on what expenses might be allowed.

“We want people to be cautious to run out and buy things on the assumption that it will be reimbursed, because it may not be,” says Raymond Raney, Emergency Management director.

Any additional labor expended by government employees connected to COVID-19 might apply,

Raney said. Equipment, like sanitizing technology for health care or libraries, might apply. Raney said in particular he wants city councils to know that the funds are available to them as well, not just county agencies.

But government officials have little time to act. A plan on how to spend the money needs to be developed by August.

Two more disbursements are expected to be released by the state to counties this year. The second stage is expected to make money available to businesses, Raney said.

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The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce is charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19. The SPARK Executive and Steering Committees, in conjunction with the Office of Recovery team, are responsible for the statewide distribution of CARES Act funding.

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MATERIALS

COUNTY RESOURCES

MUNICIPALITY TOOL KIT

Download the PDF here – https://covid.ks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Municipality-Tool-Kit-Version-1_Final.pdf