Clay County continues to track and monitor spending of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds allocated to community partners for use in providing direct financial assistance to those affected by the spread of COVID-19 and related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. We are especially pleased to see recent announcements from the City of Kansas City and the City of Smithville about available grant applications for small businesses in Clay County seeking to qualify for and make use of applicable CARES Act funds.

A proactive approach to CARES Act funding avoided unnecessary delays and ensured that portions of the $29 million allotted to Clay County were already being made available to those in need.

From the beginning of this process, Clay County’s administrators acted with urgency to partner with municipal leaders in our communities and create an equitable formula for providing financial support related to COVID-19 disruptions and responses. While working on a tight deadline, the committee created a comprehensive outline that includes stringent transparency measurements on how CARES Act funds will be spent within Clay County.

Approved by a majority of the Clay County Commission in early May, the formula looked at population but also considered other governmental entities deserving of the county's support, including local school districts and the Clay County Public Health Center. However, elected officials have remained nimble and responsive in an effort to ensure all funds are spent within Clay County’s borders and directly benefit our communities and citizens. Contingencies remain in place that would allow for unused funds to be transferred between municipalities as needed, should a substantial need arise for a particular organization or municipality.

Clay County will continue to monitor the economic situation and adjust processes related to the dispersal and spending of CARES Act funding while maintaining transparency and compliance with federal regulations.