CARES Act funds going towards wide range of projects

Joplin Area Coronavirus

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — More than $35 million can be spent on coronavirus related costs in Southwest Missouri. And that money is starting to go out to specific projects. What kinds of projects are they seeing?

A wide range of projects are being seen, from testing and personal protective equipment to cleaning supplies and technology.

Carl Francis, Webb City City Administrator, said, “Personal protection equipment, anything that was purchase as a result of covid, shields.”

The city of Webb City is hoping to see some CARES Act funding to help pay for extra expenses in the budget this year.

“We’ve turned into the county all of our coronavirus and are awaiting that response.”

That’s just one request, in one county, a list that growing throughout southwest Missouri.

In Newton County, commissioners say they’ve already approved more than a million dollars in requests.

Bill Reiboldt, Newton County Commissioner, said, “Reddings Mill Fire District was approved on cleaning, Newton County Library, city of Seneca, East Newton School District. The Newton County Health Department we approved the hiring of a nurse for covid related things.”

Newton County has seen almost 90 applications from cities, schools, and hospitals.

They’re hoping to cover costs for masks and hand sanitizer, testing supplies, even new technology. But some requests have already be denied.

“Capital improvements, replacement of revenue or income – those items according to the guidelines cannot be approved.”

There are very specific rules for the federal coronavirus funding. The money must be spent – and approved by county leaders – by the end of the year.

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