GREG LOWER

ERIE – Neosho County Commissioners discussed coronavirus (COVID-19) relief funding for both the county government and businesses at Wednesday evening’s meeting.

The commission approved an administrator for $3.3 million in SPARKS/CARES funding that goes to the county government in the first round of federal relief. The funds will go to county departments, schools or other entities.

Emergency Management Director Melanie Kent-Culp submitted quotes, and the commission selected a New Jersey company, iParametrics, after Kent-Culp said the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission was unable to be administrator of the funds. The company will also help with Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. The $54,952 administration fee will come from the relief funding, although the state allows up to 5 percent of the funds for administration.

“This is a lot of hoops that we have to go through to spend this money,” Commission Chair Gail Klaassen said.

One of the possible funding requests is $365,000 from Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center. Commissioners said schools could also be included in the next round of COVID-19 relief.

Commissioners voted to extend the deadline for Community Development Block Grants for COVID-19 relief to businesses until Oct. 1. The Chanute city commission took similar action Monday, and County Clerk Heather Elsworth requested an additional 30 days from the original deadline Friday.

In other business, the commission accepted a quote of $8,092 from Advantage Computers for a server rack. Steve Prasko of Advantage presented multiple quotes for several items, and said the company has labeled items to indicate what they do.

Health Department Administrator Teresa Starr received approval for a pharmaceutical refrigerator to store vaccines. The glass-door refrigerator will cost $3,510 with $350 for freight, and the state will pay half of the cost.

Starr also reported that county residents who were hospitalized from the coronavirus suffered complications and had underlying conditions. Neosho County currently has one active case.

Road and Bridge Director Mike Brown discussed the intersection of 21st and Plummer near Chanute, and the commission accepted a quote from the engineering firm CFS to do a study. Klaassen said Chanute is also taking action on the intersection.

“I think the ball’s rolling,” she said.

Gravel bids had to be rebid because of an error, and commissioners opened bids from three businesses for culverts. Brown will make a recommendation at the next meeting.

Commissioners approved a $5,000 contract for a heating and air conditioning asbestos inspection at the courthouse. They will hold a budget work session at 4 pm Thursday, August 6, and will canvass the results of Tuesday’s election at noon Aug. 13, before their next regular meeting.

 

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