KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Show me the money! That’s what leaders in Kansas City are saying after learning the city isn’t getting a dime from Washington in stimulus money.
But St. Louis, in comparison, is getting $35 million.
The federal government sent billions to every state as part of the CARES Act, and then states like Missouri passed the money down to the counties.
Kansas City, however, is now left to haggle with four area counties to get its share of the stimulus money.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, and I think it goes to show what happens when people try to get a lot of stuff done really quickly,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “And we commend him on that, but they’re not giving that flexibility to do what’s right for our community.”
The federal government didn’t send any direct funding to the city as part of the CARES Act to help pay for overtime costs for employees like first-responders.
The only cities that can get direct COVID-19 relief funding from the government are those with a population of at least 500,000.
As of the last count in 2018, Kansas City’s population is at about 492,000.
“It’s really unfortunate,” Lucas said. “We believe we’re 505,000 now as a population.”
St. Louis, meanwhile, did get $35 million in stimulus money even though it has a smaller population than Kansas City. That’s because St. Louis is the only city in the state that’s not technically part of any county.
“You know, I think it is frustrating. I mean St. Louis certainly has its challenges, but St. Louis also has 200,000 people almost less than Kansas City,” Lucas said.
So now Kansas City leaders are trying to work with the four counties that are part of the city: Jackson, Cass, Platte and Clay.
Jackson County received $120 million directly from the federal government, and Lucas argues a big chunk of that should go to Kansas City.
“Let’s just use common sense right now,” he said Friday. “This is not money that is going for Quinton Lucas to build anew stadium downtown. This is money that’s going to make sure we pay for all the folks that are doing extra, exceptional work right now — our hospital workers, our paramedics, so many others that are getting funds from Kansas City, and frankly this is exactly what the CARES Act was passed to help do.”
It’s a developing situation. On Friday, Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick sent FOX4 a statement, which reads:
“The Treasurer is working with the counties on a solution to allow the city of Kansas City to have access to funds as soon as possible and has been communicating with Mayor Lucas throughout the process.”
Interested in how much stimulus funding other Missouri counties got? The state treasurer has a chart breaking it all down.