Commissioners approve to spend CARES funding
The Pulaski County Commissioners are approving to spend about $187,000 in funding that they hope to get reimbursed by the state.
The decision to spend the funding was made Monday morning during a regular commissioners’ meeting. Councilwoman Kathi Thompson spoke with the commissioners about the proposed items the county could spend funding on.
The county can be reimbursed for up to $404,541 in regards to COVID-19 expenditures through the CARES Act. Because of this a committee of a couple council members, a commissioner and six other people was formed to prioritize the spending.
During the meeting Monday morning, the commissioners reviewed how much each item or items would cost. The expenditures included a telephone system, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, a sound system, masks, equipment for virtual education, and technology for the auditor’s office. The total cost of the items was $380,161.07.
Thompson said it appears there is about $187,000 of the $404,541 that could still be spent. The sheriff’s office has already purchased a body scanner that cost about $149,000. The county would also like to see the 25% of overtime that was not covered by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grant funding to be reimbursed.
After some discussion, it was decided to eliminate the items that the coroner’s office requested. The elimination will be about $145,000 which would reduce the total amount to about $235,000.
Thompson said personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases by the county can be made rather quickly so those items could also be eliminated from the total expenses. The PPE could cost about $50,000.
The commissioners approved that several items could be purchased including a new telephone system, a new sound system, equipment for virtual education, new technology and PPE for the library and human services. The total they approved that could be spent is about $185,000. The PPE for the county and the coroner’s requests were not approved.
Per the CARES Act requirements, the items have to be purchased first by the county. The county would then file for reimbursement. The county council will now have to find the funding to purchase the items which could mean additional appropriations. Once the expenses are sent to the state for review, those reimbursements could be rejected.