After disbursement Tuesday, Saline County has now expended 99.64 percent of the $11 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds awarded to the county by the State of Kansas as part of the federal CARES Act funding for states and local governments.
As part of the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act, $150 billion was awarded to states and large local governments. Kansas received $1.25 billion, of which more than $240 million went to Johnson and Sedgwick counties based on population. Of the remaining $1.03 billion, the Governor’s Task Force on Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas recommended (and the State Finance Council approved) awarding $400 million to Kansas counties based on their population and their impact from the COVID-19 disease. Saline County was awarded $11,026,434.
The Saline County Commissioners agreed to accept this funding via Resolution and formed a citizen advisory committee to make recommendations on distribution. According to information from the county, the committee received more than 100 applications from local entities impacted by the pandemic. Their recommended allocation was approved by the county commission on Aug. 11 and by the State on Sept. 4.
Each of the 47 local schools, non-profit organizations, local governments and business representatives awarded funding in the approved plan was able to spend more than 50 percent of their funding awards by the Dec. 30 deadline, County Administrator Phillip Smith-Hanes noted in a news release. Thirty of the 47 expended 100 percent of their award amounts; unspent amounts from others were combined into a supplemental round of funding of $139,500. This provided additional funds to six of the original organizations and funded two new recipients, he reported.
Of the $11 million award, less than $40,000 remains unspent. On Sunday, President Donald Trump signed legislation extending the deadline for expenditure of funds. While the state has not yet announced a cut-off date for county expenditures, officials anticipate it to be in early March of 2021, Smith-Hanes noted. This will allow the community to utilize the remaining 0.36 percent of the funding awarded.
"The county would like to thank each of the organizations that stepped up to provide for the community with this funding, as well as the citizen volunteers of the advisory committee who reviewed applications and made recommendations," Smith-Hanes noted.
Additional information about the county’s plan is available at https://www.saline.org/Coronavirus/CRF-Funding.