Harvey County reviews SPARK funding requests

Chad Frey
The Kansan

The initial requests for about $7 million in CARES Act/Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas funds administered by Harvey County are numerous.

A 20-page spreadsheet contains more than 780 requests for reimbursement or direct aid for COVID-19 expenses in Harvey County.

There were more than $6 million in requests. Of that, about $1.4 million was requested by county governmental agencies, $1.7 by city governmental agencies and $2.9 million for schools.

“This is just raw data,” said Anthony Swartzendruber, county administrator. “This has not been through any review process and is strictly the requests ... that came in to the county.”

The county has formed a committee and retained an auditing firm to review the requests and, ultimately, distribute funds.

Targets include $2.35 million for schools and $2.65 million for county and city governments.

“We did follow up with cities letting them know what items we have deemed did not qualify under the guidelines or not a necessary expenditure under a health emergency,” Swartzendruber said.

The committee has met several times, and is in process of making funding adjustments and writing a direct aid plan to be submitted to the state. The goal is to have documents finished Aug. 11, and presented to the commission Aug. 13 during a special meeting of the commission.

The allocations and documentation is due to the state Aug. 14. The direct aid plan is due Aug. 15, with approval expected by Sept. 15.

“One of the things we are trying to do with Phase I funding is to be aware of what is coming with Phase II spending,” Swartzendruber said.

There is going to be more money coming for long-term care facilities, community care clinics, business expansion, business extension, nonprofit grants, local food systems and broadband expansion.

The committee has met several times and started a process to review requests.

“These investments are intended to supplement and augment the spending we do at the county level,” Swartzendruber said.