Boone County Commission outlines process behind CARES Act funding decisions

1 month 1 week 2 days ago Friday, August 14 2020 Aug 14, 2020 Friday, August 14, 2020 4:53:00 PM CDT August 14, 2020 in News
By: Matt McCabe, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
This is a file photo taken at a meeting before the pandemic.

COLUMBIA – The Boone County Commission released a letter on Friday, defending decisions made concerning CARES Act funding.

On Thursday, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece called out the commission for a delay in handing out those funds. 

The letter opened by stating the commission expected the federal government to provide substantial help in distributing funds, which it did not receive.

The letter also stated, "during every conference/Zoom/virtual meeting/call with federal and state officials, we were told that the only certainty about the CARES Act was that, in 2021, auditors would be coming to local jurisdictions to ensure that funding decisions had been made appropriately."

According to the letter, the commission was told that if auditors discovered inadequate use of those funds, it would be expected to repay the federal government.

The commission made a point of saying they did not seek a highly involved role in distributing CARES Act funds, but felt obligated to participate in the program.

The letter outlined two major uses of county CARES Act funding up to this point: an increase in spending for the health department, and the purchase of hotspots for school districts in the county.

The commission said they responded to those requests quicker because they were more time-sensitive. It also said they are continuing to review requests as they come in, and expect the amount of requests to exceed the amount of money able to be distributed.

The letter was signed by all three commissioners.

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