Sedgwick County commissioners table relief plan for closed bars and nightclubs

Rodney Price
July 29, 2020 - 1:27 pm
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Sedgwick County Commissioners voted to table a plan that would have provided up to $5 million in CARES funding to bars and nightclubs in the county.

Commissioner Jim Howell voted to table Commissioner Michael O'Donnell's motion from last week that would have provided relief for those businesses shut down by the emergency health order. He says that government should not be in the business of choosing winners and losers.

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The finance staff had several concerns as well. The county must spend CARES funding on COVID-19 related expenses and will be subject to an audit for up to 5 years. If the federal government says that an expense didn't meet their criteria, the county would have to foot the bill, putting their general fund at risk.

Later in the meeting, Commissioners approved a $3.5 million plan that will help accredited school districts based in the county.  

The 10 public school districts in the county, along with the Wichita Catholic Diocese, will each receive $100 thousand, along with a flat rate of $26.94 per student.

Commissioner David Dennis says the schools need this money for the upcoming school year. "We have to be able to get these small school districts the funding that they need in order to be able to safely open the doors," he said.

The districts can use the funds for PPE, cleaning and sanitizing materials, and other supplies needed to keep schools in operation. Districts could also use the funding for remote learning activities.

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