County to receive  $1.7M in virus funds

Ray Scherer

 

Gasconade County is set to receive slightly more than $1.7 million in its share of Missouri funds through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

 

On Monday, Gov. Mike Parson announced that the state plans to release the funds that it is receiving through the act to local governments. Gasconade County, with its population of 14,706, will receive 0.24 percent of the total Missouri allotment for its population share. The $1,725,307 allocation for the county represents 0.33 percent of the local population share when not including the amounts to be distributed to St. Louis County and Jackson County.

 

In his daily remarks, Parson noted that COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the state's economy, with many local governments, health-care providers, schools, businesses and other groups shouldering the burden. Missouri has received approximately $2.4 billion in the federal funds from CARES. After taking into account the disbursements to the two large counties, the remaining 25 percent of the state's share is being distributed based on population.

 

Early in April, Parson established an informal working group -- led by State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick -- to help offer recommendations on the best use of the coronavirus funding. Fitzpatrick has created a web page, treasurer.mo.gov/COVID, that will be posting updates on the working group and the funds. Parson said the group's functions will help ensure transparency in how the money is being given out to the counties.

 

Also on Monday, Fitzpatrick reported that the first payments to local governments have been processed and should become available as soon as Wednesday.

 

"The top priority of the working group has always been to work with Governor Parson to get CARES Act money distributed to Missouri's local governments as efficiently as possible," he said. "Now our counties must work with cities and other political subdivisions to ensure that this money reaches those on the front lines -- our health departments, health-care workers, and first responders -- to ensure they have the necessary resources to adequately respond to COVID-19."

 

The working group is acting in an advisory capacity only and will continue to study the best practices and procedures for applying the federal relief across the state.

 

The following counties will be receiving the federal funds based on their population shares: Callaway, $5.2 million; Crawford, $2.8 million; Franklin, $12.1 million; Maries, $1 million; Montgomery, $1.3 million; Osage, $1.6 million; Phelps, $5.2 million; and Warren, $4.1 million.