Joplin Council approves resolution for CARES Act reimbursement requests

Request will now be sent to Jasper, Newton County Commissioners

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin City Council met tonight, one of the items discussed, a resolution for CARES Act funding.

When it comes to the Coronavirus so far, many types of relief have been offered. From the Paycheck Protection Program, to small business assistance, and stimulus checks to individuals. One group that hasn’t received immediate relief yet, counties and cities. Nick Edwards, Joplin City Manager says “A lot of entities have received support already but really the cares funding is the city’s relief and so our project list was a discussion or ideas that the city had to help spend those dollars and meet the needs that are in the community.”

The city compiled a list of things to seek potential reimbursement for, including resident needs, non-profit needs, and of course city needs. Some of those needs include child care costs, more widely available broadband internet, and city payroll. There’s sources of funding beyond the cares act, so the city went with an organization that helped them get the grant funding and reimbursements following the tornado. “Projects often come with a lot of strings and they have to be accounted for and there has to be a lot of transparency and so GuideHouse has that expertise.”

The city is submitting several requests totaling millions of dollars, but, for this first round of funding, there’s one thing that’s top on the list – city payroll. “The reimbursement would allow the city to collect funding based on the payrolls for police, fire and our health department.”

Edwards says those three areas are crucial to keeping the city safe. “It’s easy to understand when we say the city can’t stop, we can’t stop policing, we can’t stop providing fire protection, we can’t stop with our health department, and so that funding allows the city to not stop.”

Because Joplin is in two counties, reimbursement requests must be sent to Jasper and Newton County Commissioners. From there, commissioners will pass on the request, or they could potentially make changes to the request as they see fit.