by Sarah Thomack
St. Joseph Post
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Buchanan County received $10 million from the state to help residents recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner Lee Sawyer says the way the $10 million figure was decided was when Missouri got a certain amount from the federal government, they looked at the population of each county to divide the money.
“I think it was done very fairly, in that it’s really to help people, so to use the census numbers, the population numbers to make that be the divisor for the money makes a lot of sense,” Sawyer says.
Sawyer says the county is still getting interpretation from the State Treasurer’s Office on guidelines for allocating the funds. He says it is not for things such as any foregone tax money for a county or municipality.
“(It) could be used for law enforcement, to help protect them in some way, above and beyond what we’re doing now or maybe the ambulance service or to help the city health department with some of their additional expenses as they work on the COVID-related challenges,” Sawyer says.
Sawyer says the county hopes to have a formal plan by the end of this week with more information on a timeline and an application process for different entities to be able to apply.
Under the CARES Act, Missouri received approximately $2.4 billion in federal funding, including nearly $173.5 million for St. Louis County and $122.7 million for Jackson County, according to Governor Mike Parson.
Twenty-five percent of the remaining state share was distributed to Missouri counties based on population. A breakdown of local government allocations can be found here.