‘SPARK’ task force works to distribute $1 billion to Kansas counties

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Governor Kelly’s ‘Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas’ (SPARK) Task Force met for the first time on Tuesday to determine the best way to distribute more than one billion dollars in federal funding. The committee is made up of local and state leaders from across Kansas.

The federal money will be passed out based on population size and need, depending on the number of coronavirus cases and the economic impact in each county. The committee chose to distribute the money in phases.

“This fair, impactful and timely distribution of funds to county governments will strengthen our health, speed the reopening of our economy and help our state remain open for business,” said Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Executive Director of the Recovery Office.

Fifty percent of each county’s share will be for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses and the remaining 50 percent will be direct aid for eligible expenditures under the CARES Act.

To receive funds, counties will be required to pass a resolution affirming they will allocate the funding consistent with the CARES Act and to share and allocate funds to educational and municipal entities within their counties.

But the money must be spent by the end of the year or it will be lost.

“This money has to be expended by December 30th of this year and we don’t want to sit on it. We want to get it out into the hands of people,” said Lyle Butler, Chair of the SPARK Task Force.

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