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Cole County to grant Jefferson City $900,000 in CARES Act funds, asking for top


As the end of the year grows closer, the Cole County Commission is still working on getting out CARES Act dollars to several entities including Jefferson City.

At the commission’s meeting on Tuesday, leaders decided that Jefferson City would be eligible for about $900,000 of the nearly $9 million given to the county during phase 3 of their distribution.

ABC17 News previously dug through the CARES Act requests from Jefferson City, which totaled more than 1.4 million dollars.

The $900,000 figure comes from the population of Jefferson City compared to the other municipalities. The commission plans to give $1 million to municipalities during phase 3.

Since the city requested more than is allocated to them, the county is asking city leaders to prioritize what is most needed. The accounting firm Cole County hired to handle the CARES Act Distribution BKD has been going through each request, and have already said $458,594 of their request fit into CARES Act qualifications.

Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said BKD has not finished vetting all of the requests so far.

“So we just need to figure out what their top priorities are and then move forward,” Bushman said.

While some of the city’s requests were disqualified, three are marked as Incomplete or Potentially Eligible. The request is all for radios for first responders, totaling $633,588.

Bushman said he already spoke with Mayor Carrie Tergin about prioritizing what the city sees as needs that this $900,000 thousand can be used for.

“I want to give them what is due them and I want to give it to them so they can continue to operate,” Bushman said.

Mayor Carrie Tergin said the city is grateful for the work being put into the CARES Act Process.

“We are thankful for the potential use of these funds and we will prioritize the City’s list of requests to assist in moving the process forward.”

Carrie Tergin, Mayor of Jefferson City

The commission has the final approval of each application. Commissioner Kris Scheperle brought up concerns that not everything the city applied for is COVID-19 related.

“It’s not just ‘here’s $900,000 dollars, pick’,” Scheperle said during the meeting. “If it’s an eligible expense I’ll probably approve it, but if I don’t believe it’s directly COVID related I’m going to vote against whether it’s eligible or not.”

The commission hopes to keep about $2 million dollars in case of a spike in cases or need as the year comes to a close. CARES Act funds must be spent by the end of December.

“We need to keep a reserve, but ideally, if closer to the end of December if we’ve still got some needs and we don’t need that money, we could make some grants even in December,” Bushman said.

Read More: Cole County to grant Jefferson City $900,000 in CARES Act funds, asking for top

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