County seeking, reviewing COVID-19 grant applications

Chad Frey

So far, there have been 22 applications filed with Harvey County and the Central Kansas Community Foundation for CARES Act funds, a funding program launched Oct. 1.

“We are hoping that more come in,” said Anthony Swartzendruber, county administrator.

The Harvey County Commission and Harvey County CARES Committee have established six grant programs to help distribute funds allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding is meant to offset a portion of the COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses experienced by nonprofits, churches, quasi-governmental organizations and small businesses.

There are more than $2.5 million in funds available, which must be allocated and spent by Dec. 31.

Grant programs include a Public Health Grant Program ($732,234.76); Community Support Grant Program ($100,000); Community Testing Program ($1 million); Private Schools and Colleges Support Program ($350,000); Long-Term Care Support Program ($300,000); and Senior Center Sustainment Program ($90,000).

Overall, the county received more than $7 million in funds, with the first $4.5 earmarked for cities, governmental agencies and public schools in the county. The expenditure of those funds have already begun.

The county has until Dec. 31 to spend all the funds.

“The challenge with the Dec. 31 deadline is there is not a lot of time between now and then to build out a program, get funding out to that. We are looking more at reimbursing expenses that were already incurred by organizations,” Swartzendruber said.

A committee created to review grant applications will be presenting approved grants to the county commission by the end of October.

In other business, the commission:

• Discussed an economic outlook conference attended online by county administration.

• Heard public comment asking the commission to repeal the county mask ordinance.

• Discussed putting out a bid to lease 3.7 acres of county property at the corner of K-89 highway and 24th Street that has been leased for use as a horse pasture in the past.

• Reviewed a post-sale summary of bonds refinanced one week ago. The total being financed is $2.5 million is total. The county will save more than $400,000 over the life of the bonds.

• Learned the the Road and Bridge department received a grant to fund 80% of a bridge replacement project on S.E. 60th near the Harvey/Butler County line.

• Discussed a grant application by the Harvey County Emergency Management Department for the 2020 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program.

• Approved an airport design and planning agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation, Aviation Agreement for to replace equipment that has been inoperable for about three years.

• Tabled a SPARK Phase I grant change for the city of Sedgwick.