Lincoln County received much-needed financial relief earlier this week.
As part of Missouri’s Coronavirus Relief Fund under the CARES Act, the county was allocated $6,923,403 in federal aid to cover needs not covered in the area’s local fiscal-year budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount awarded was based on the total population of Lincoln County, which is just over 59,000 people.
On April 10, Gov. Mike Parson formed an informal working group, led by Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, to make recommendations for the use of over $2 billion in federal funding provided for COVID-19-related costs under the CARES Act.
This advisory body will study and analyze the federal relief available to the state, its citizens and businesses to identify best practices and procedures to apply that relief.
Locally, the Lincoln County Commission created a committee on Tuesday who will be responsible for the disbursement. County Commissioner Joseph Kaimann said the federal government set strict guidelines on how the funding should be disbursed and spent.
“If the government determines the money wasn’t put into the right places, we would have to give the money back (in the 2021 fiscal-year budget),” he said. “If (a town in the county) makes a request that has already been put in its budget, we can’t give them that money.”
It is unclear at this point when the committee will begin formal disbursement of the funds. However, the County Commission said more information would be provided as the process continues.
“The money will be distributed from the city of Troy to whoever needs it,” District 2 Commissioner Matt Bass said. “It’s still very early in the process.”
Along with the city of Troy, departments throughout the county, including Elsberry, Winfield, Silex, Foley, Hawk Point and Moscow Mills, have already requested funding. Kaimann reminded those applying for aid, saying they have to follow the guidelines set by the federal government.
“We can’t just go spending (the funding) where we want,” he said. “The federal government makes it clear what the parameters are.”
Other metropolitan-area counties receiving aid due to the novel coronavirus were St. Charles County, who received over $47 million in aid, and St. Louis County, who received over $173 million in aid, one of the largest allocations in the state.
St. Louis City received around $35 million in aid, Washington County was awarded nearly $3 million in aid and Jefferson County was allocated over $26 million in COVID-19 assistance.