County commission seeks reimbursement on CARES Act funds
Jackson County has overspent its Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, and the Jackson County Commissioners are seeking reimbursements from the Jackson County Attorney’s Office and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for overages related to their CARES Act-funded construction projects, it has been reported.
During a recent Jackson County Commission meeting, it was determined that final CARES Act expenses, including $3,000 for a required audit, $4,015.70 for a final administration fee payout to Governmental Assistance Services of Lawrence and a new county website contract with CivicsPlus, put the CARES Act account in the red by $28,407.93.
Jackson County received $1.3 million in CARES Act funds and about $1 million of those funds, including contingency funds, were used towards construction projects at the county attorney’s office and the county jail.
The projects included remodeling the fourth floor of the Courthouse to serve as the new offices for the Jackson County attorney and staff. The former office did not allow the employees to safely social distance, it was reported.
The new county attorney’s office now includes a secured entrance area staffed with a receptionist and an open floor area for up to five desks plus room for filing cabinets and books shelves. In the far east end of the office, three enclosed offices were constructed.
On the west side of the space, a new conference room was built, as well as a breakroom and bathroom.
An isolation pod was constructed at the Jackson County Jail to isolate inmates who test positive for COVID-19 or other contagious viruses. The jail previously only had one holding cell.
The jail project included two maximum security cells and a day room that can also be used for medical isolation. Each cell has its own shower and is a self-contained unit.
The original budget for the isolation pod at the jail was $550,000 and then was increased to $625,000. The final cost of the project was $703,374.11, which was $78,374.11 over budget, it was reported.
The initial budget for the new county attorney’s office project was $250,000 but was increased to $300,000. Final costs were reported at $322,947.68, which is an overage of $22,947.68.
Initially there were enough contingency funds available in the county’s CARES Act account to cover the extra construction expenses, it was reported.
During their meeting on March 15, the commissioners met with Brett Waggoner of Governmental Assistance Services to discuss CARES Act funding, which is when they learned that the account was in the negative $28,407.93, it was reported.
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