Document: Cole County CARES Act Funding Requests Approved Oct. 20, 2020View
The Cole County Commission approved during a meeting Tuesday three requests for federal pandemic aid through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — including for county contact tracing efforts.
The $92,259 approved for the Cole County Health Department's contact tracing work for schools was the largest single sum approved Tuesday.
Equipment and phone lines for the contact tracing work was $7,000 of the cost — the rest for employee pay.
Lincoln University was awarded $25,000 in CARES Act funding for testing and contact tracing, personal protective equipment, and other public health expenses.
The funds will support testing of students and staff, "specifically those that may engage in athletics or other activities that put them in close contact with other schools, crowds or entities," according to LU's application. The funds will also assist in efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus through PPE and social distancing.
Story continues below meeting video.
The owners of the Anytime Fitness on West Edgewood Drive in Jefferson City received $5,000 in aid for small businesses.
"The impact to our business is much larger than that and we would apply for more if there are more funds available," according to the application by Bradbury Fitness LLC.
Cole and Julie Bradbury also own Anytime Fitness clubs in Osage Beach and Lebanon.
The commission wanted to know more about Common Ground Community Building — including how the organization is structured and how requested money would be spent — before deciding whether to award the $25,000 Common Ground wants to make available to assist people who have lost their jobs or have had working hours reduced because of the pandemic.
The commission also did not yet award $328,635 to the Community Health Center of Central Missouri — requested for a 33-foot mobile trailer to be used for COVID-19 testing.
CHCCM officials said it would take five or six months for the vehicle to arrive, and commissioners Tuesday proposed asking CHCCM if they're interested in a quicker alternative, such as an RV or used trailer, instead of a new trailer.
By CARES Act guidelines, the money would have to be spent by March 31.
The commission denied a $65,310 request from Compass Health Network for two days of testing.
Commissioners said they value testing; Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said "testing is our first line of defense."
However, the commission also did not yet approve large reimbursement requests from Capital Region Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital for testing — more than $1.1 million from CRMC and more than $319,000 from St. Mary's.
CRMC has applied for funding to help pay costs incurred for the hospital's mobile COVID-19 testing site and other testing-related expenditures, including some payroll costs.
St. Mary's request does not include any payroll costs, and $152,103 of its $319,892 request is for a GenExpert test machine.
Commissioners' hesitancy Tuesday to approve the hospitals' requests stemmed from not knowing whether testing will need more funding later to be expanded in November and December if the pandemic worsens, and with having several different ways available of deciding how much money to allocate.
Combined, the two Jefferson City hospitals' requests — if approved completely — would use up nearly all of the remaining $1.47 million of county CARES Act funds left available for medical and health care providers beyond the county health department.
Cole County has received $9 million in total of CARES Act funds, and as of Tuesday — including the three approved requests for contact tracing, LU and Anytime Fitness — $6,465,182 remains.
That includes approximately $1.8 million set aside in contingency, as well as a total of more than $66,000 left for public and private schools, more than $166,000 left for small businesses and more than $1.2 million left for unallocated internal county needs.
County needs include EMS, the health department, sheriff, courts and other departments.
The commission also Tuesday approved a $137,585 contract for some remodeling to create a courtroom and office space to accommodate the county's new second associate circuit judge in the Cole County Courthouse.
GBH Builders was the only vendor that submitted a bid. The work can start Nov. 1, with completion by Jan. 15.
Democrat Scott Evans and Republican Brian Stumpe are running in the Nov. 3 general election for the new judge position.