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Cole County Commission approves multiple CARES Act funding requests


The Cole County Commission approved multiple CARES Act funding requests during a meeting Thursday morning.

Requests from the Cole County Courthouse, Cole County EMS, Cole County Assessor's Office and a private school were unanimously approved.

You can watch the full meeting in the media player below.

Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said the requests were approved based on recommendations from the accounting firm, BKD, handling the commission's CARES Act funding application requests.

Commissioners approved the purchase of three filters to improve air circulation at the Cole County Courthouse. The commission approved purchases for plexiglass, AV equipment and a request to hold jury trials at an offsite location, also from the courthouse.

Requests for 10 remote work stations and deep cleaning service for the courthouse were put on-hold Thursday.

Bushman said the commission needed more information before approving the requests.

"We want to work with everybody and we're not denying these requests we just need more clarification from (the court)," Bushman said.

Cole County Division One Circuit Judge Jon Beetem presented the court's requests on Tuesday. Beetem said the court didn't have a full-time cleaning crew because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the Tuesday meeting.

Beetem said court clerical staff did most of the cleaning at the building, but many of them are not working inside the courthouse since the pandemic started.

"Right now, I think we spray a lot of Lysol," Beetem said.

Part of the court's request would hire workers to take care of the cleaning, as well as, some clerical work.

A disinfectant sprayer was approved for one of the county's private schools. Plexiglass barriers for the assessor's office were also agreed upon.

The commission accepted an application from Cole County EMS to purchase two mannequins worth about $126,000 total on Tuesday. They also approved the purchase of software linked to the mannequins during Thursday's meeting.

Commissioners said the mannequins will be used to train staff on how to deal with COVID-19.

Bushman was the lone "no" vote for the mannequin purchase on Tuesday saying then the application could have waited until later phases of CARES Act funding.

The presiding commissioner added BKD will start reviewing CARES Act funding applications from the county's nonprofit organizations and small businesses.

"We want to help small businesses that may not qualify for federal loans," Bushman said.

The commission set aside $200,000 in CARES Act money specifically for small businesses. The second phase of the county's CARES Act funding process continues through the end of September.

Cole / Coronavirus / Jefferson City / Top Stories

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.


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