The Taney County Commission is now accepting applications for its first round of CARES Act funding distribution. 

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. 

Missouri received approximately $2.4 billion in federal funding under the CARES Act. On April 28, Taney County received information and guidance from the office of the Missouri State Treasurer regarding the distribution of CARES Act funds from the State of Missouri to Taney County. After approving and returning a certification for payment to the State of Missouri, 

Taney County received $6,561,471 on May 6, according to a press release from the commissioner’s office. 

In a May press release Missouri Governor Mike Parson said, “COVID-19 has had an overwhelming impact on our economy, and many local governments, health care providers, education institutions, businesses, and other groups will rely on this funding.”

At the Monday, June 13 Taney County Commission Meeting, commissioners approved the proposed application to distribute the funds. 

Taney County Grants Compliance and Oversight Officer Melissa Duckworth said during round one of funding, local governments and nonprofit entities will be eligible to submit an application.

“It’s a reimbursement fund, for the most part. Looking at the costs occurred starting on March 1 and going through June 30,” said Duckworth. “It will be a reimbursement for the money they’ve spent, and in the application, it will be outlined for them to put their cost and things in there. What the county is providing with these CARES Act funds for, is so that any of the cost that they have incurred, either the nonprofits or public entities and government, that is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, those are eligible to be applied to get some money back to cover those costs.”

As far as what makes an item an eligible reimbursable expense, Duckworth explained that the categories are pretty broad.

“Some of the necessary expenditures are medical expenses related to the testing that they do and thing like that. Public health expenses, acquiring PPE, sanitizing products from responders personal and individuals like that, disinfecting of public areas and different public safety measures that are taken,” Duckworth said. 

“It also includes public health measures like food delivery to residents like senior citizens or the vulnerable population that couldn’t get out and were under the quarantine.”

Duckworth added that, as long as an applicant can explain why a particular item was reasonably necessary and can justify its need in the application, that will go a long way in the process of getting the reimbursement funds for that item.

All applications for the first round of funding will be due on July 24. 

“It’s going to ask for a lot of information. Background information on the organization as well as the cost that they’ve incurred. There’s a lot of certifications they have to make saying they didn’t receive CARES Act funding from another source, because this can not be duplicated,” said Duckworth. “It’s a pretty lengthy application process, but it’s to make sure it’s very thorough. Because on the backside, the federal government is monitoring this very closely.”

Once all the applications have been received, Duckworth explained, the review committee will have until the third week of August to make their selections.

“It will go to a review committee, kind of a clearinghouse that’s been put together. The county is under a contract already with the Branson Chamber and the Taney County Partnership for Economic Development,” said Duckworth. “They are going to put together an independent review committee that will review these applications and they will come back then to the county commission for approval. 

“Which, after they are approved, it still will require a contract with the county before you can receive the funds.”

For anyone needing assistance during the application process, Duckworth said she would be happy to help.  

“I can answer questions about the application process and give some input or direct you to where you can find input on the eligible expenses,” Duckworth said. “But when it comes down to the decision making, that is not me. I’m overall just looking at it to make sure grant compliance wise that we are still on the right path.”

Duckworth added that there is no limit to the amount of reimbursement funding an entity can apply for, but there is no guarantee that a request will be fulfilled. She added that the review committee does have the option to only fund certain items in the application.

Depending upon the number of applications received and the amount of funds awarded during the first round of funding, the County anticipates there will be additional rounds of funding, according to the press release.  

The application can be found online on the homepage of taneycounty.org as well as inside the Taney County Commission office and the Taney County Clerk’s Office. 

Additional information on the reimbursement item qualifications can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website at treasurer.mo.gov. Questions regarding the application process can be directed to Duckworth by calling 417-546-7233 or emailing melissa.duckworth@taneycountymo.gov. 

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