Riley County commission approves $14.9 million CARES Act distribution plan

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Riley County commissioners approved the CARES Act funding distribution plan during their meeting Thursday.

Budget and Finance Officer Tami Robison presented the allocation recommendations made by the consulting firm Witt O’ Brien. One of the biggest portions of the $14.9 million is going back to the county services for an allocation of $4,573,990.  The requests are for reimbursements for county departments from Mar 1 to Jul 31, and future costs until Dec 30.  The majority of future costs are from the health and EMS departments.

Three criteria were set up for how each entity could receive funds; expenditures due to COVID-19, cannot be accounted for by the already approved budget, and costs taken place after Mar 1.  Most of the costs for the county are from the alternative care site, contact tracing, any testing equipment and kits, clinic costs and the mobile swapping station.

Additionally they had IT costs reported for all county departments, which included off site work and training costs and equipment for virtual meetings.  Other future costs include courtroom redesigns for social distancing for jury trials, election costs due to COVID restrictions, and personal protection equipment for staff.

All of the towns and cities within the county will also be receiving their own portion of the funds. Education, including universities and colleges, small businesses, and non-profit organizations are also receiving funds as well.

Here’s the list of allocations:

  • Riley County: $4,573,990
  • Manhattan City: $2,998,847
  • Riley City: $51,570
  • Leonardville City: $24,659
  • Randolph City: $8,952
  • Ogden City: $ 114,618
  • Riley County Police Department: $288,400
  • USD 383-Manhattan/Ogden: $1,072,544
  • USD 384-Blue Valley: $33,600
  • USD 378-Riley: $107,760
  • Manhattan Catholic School: $41,920
  • Kansas State University: $2,446,250
  • Manhattan Christian College: $19,375
  • Manhattan Area Technical College: $61,750
  • Locally-owned small business program: $2,500,000
  • Non-profit businesses: $500,000

The City of Manhattan actually requested less than what they are being allocated for.  They requested 18.64% of their per capita, but the budget committee wanted to round that to 20%.  This equates to $54.92 per capita and used this same allocation method for the other cities.  They have not yet determined the factors they will use to distribute the money to the cities.  They will meet each entity for the best option for them and the county.

Robison says the cities need to have that money spent by November 30th. If not, whatever was not spent will be sent back to the county and reallocated somewhere else.  This was a deadline set by the State.

Robison says they spoke with the consultant as the school districts were not originally in this round of funding, but higher education was. They were able to use a funding formula based on the full time equivalency (FTE) of 2019.  However, Manhattan Catholic School is not governed by the same rules, so they used enrollment instead.

Since higher education will also have round two distribution dollars as well, the FTE formula was used. Based on that, they received $125 per student.

The non-profit organizations include churches, shelters, mental health facilities, food programs, and other similar entities.  For small businesses, staff will work with the local chambers of commerce for their distributions.  The Greater Manhattan Community Foundation has agreed to oversee the non-profit organization distribution program. Both the GMCF and Chambers would be eligible for a 5% administration fee, of $150,000.

The RCPD requested more money for their allocations for a Hazmat vehicle.  However, the committee does not recommend an allocation for that vehicle because the State did not accept RCPD’s proposal. The vendor’s build time prior to ordering, made it clear the vehicle would not be in use by the end of the year.

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About Author

Sam Hennigh

County government and school board reporter. 2016 Kansas State University graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kansas born and raised.

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