County receives CARES funding applications

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
The Kansan

The county has 79 applications for Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas funds — distributed by the state from CARES Act funds — being made available to private entities.

The county received about $7.5 million in funds, initially funding grants to governmental agencies before creating a $2.5 million multi-program grant system for private businesses.

“We are taking care to get this money into the hands of the businesses and organizations that need it. That is slowing things down,” county administrator Anthony Swartzendruber said.

The committee will meet this week to review the community testing program applications and long-term care support programs in response to COVID-19.

As of Oct. 19, there were 36 active cases in the county, and 476 cases since the pandemic began.

There have been 5,887 Harvey County individuals tested since the pandemic began, with 8,400 tests given in Harvey County since the pandemic began. Eight people have died in Harvey County.

The largest grant program in terms of applications is the public health grant program, with 56 applications. Community support, community testing and longer-term care programs each saw five applications. Private schools and colleges and the senior center sustainment program saw four applications each.

All total, the county received $1.7 million in requests with $2.5 million in funds available. It is not clear what the county can do with the $800,000 remaining.

“With all of this needing to be done by the end of the year, I am not sure we can run a second application process,“ Swartzendruber said.

The community testing program fielded $615,782 in requests — the largest requests for funding. The public health grant program, which fielded the largest number of requests, fielded $426,925 in requests. The senior centers saw in $88,436 worth of requests, while the long-term care support program saw $256,075 in requests. The community support program saw $81,978 in requests.

The hope is to have two grant programs ready for approval at the Oct. 27 commission meeting. That meeting will be in the regular commission meeting room due to advance voting for the 2020 general election being in the community room where the commission has been meeting for several months.

SPARKS/CARES fund phase II programs (with total funds available):

Public Health Grant Program ($732,234.76)

For small businesses (as defined by the federal government), nonprofits, churches or quasi-governmental organizations in Harvey County. This program provides reimbursement for personal protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene supplies, IT improvements to support telework enhancements or online service delivery, utilities and/or rent, small capital improvements that promote social distancing, and mental health accessibility.

Community Support Grant Program ($100,000)

For non-profits, churches, or quasi-governmental organizations in Harvey County. This program provides reimbursement for subsistence activities for populations in need or at risk for COVID-19. Subsistence activities include but are not limited to providing food, basic consumables, and rent/utility assistance programs targeting those who are in need or at risk for COVID-19.

Community Testing Program ($1 million)

For organizations testing symptomatic, high-risk, or vulnerable populations for COVID-19 in Harvey County. This program provides reimbursement for testing supplies, equipment or lab fees.

Private Schools and Colleges Support Program ($350,000)

For private schools (K-12) and colleges located in Harvey County. This program provides reimbursement for personal protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene supplies, IT improvements for telework enhancements or online service delivery, utilities and/or rent, small capital improvements that promote social distancing, and mental health accessibility.

Long-Term Care Support Program ($300,000)

For long-term care facilities in Harvey County. This program provides reimbursement for personal protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene supplies, IT improvements to support telework enhancements or online service delivery, small capital improvements that promote social distancing, and mental health accessibility.

Senior Center Sustainment Program ($90,000)

For senior centers located in Harvey County serving at-risk populations. This program provides reimbursement for personal protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene supplies, IT improvements for telework enhancements or online service delivery, utilities and/or rent, small capital improvements that promote social distancing, and mental health accessibility. This program also can account for lost revenue between March 1 and Dec. 30.

In other business, the commission:

• After hearing public comment from six members of the public, including three in the medical profession, extended a mask ordinance until rescinded by commission action with consultation from the county health officer.

• Approved and Off-System Bridge Project with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

• Approved Addendum to the engagement letter with Lindburg Vogel Pierce Faris Chartered for Harvey County's 2020 financial audit to allow for a federal single audit.

• Approved a SPARK Phase I CARES Act Funding direct aid plan amendment to allow for the city of Sedgwick to renovate the police department and municipal court in Sedgwick.

• Discussed the purchase of meeting streaming equipment that can be purchased using CARES/SPARK funds. Construction is estimated at $462,700 and Harvey County's responsibility is 20%, or $92,540.

• Approved the sale of a 2003 Ford E350 Bus was acquired by Harvey County from the city of Halstead. Currently the bus needs about $9,000 in repairs in order to get into good running order.