An initial round of grant applications for more than $220,000 to cover some COVID-19 expenses for cities and nonprofits has been approved by the Jasper County Commission.
More grant applications have been filed and are being processed by the county's grants administrator before they are forwarded to the commission for approval, said Darieus Adams, Western District commissioner.
The county was allocated about $14 million through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Relief Fund to defray or reimburse local costs related to public protection from the new coronavirus.
Derek Hunter, a retired certified public accountant from Rogersville, was hired by the commission to review the applications for eligibility and to make recommendations on approval.
An application by the Joplin School District for a grant of $159,921.58 was one of those approved. School administrators have said that the district has incurred about $300,000 in costs for supplies to conduct both summer school and the regular session. Hand sanitizer and dispensers for school buildings and buses have been among the top expenses.
The Avilla School District is to receive $4,354.96 for its COVID-19-related expenses.
Several nonprofits also are approved for grants.
The Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri is to receive $19,709.75.
Stephanie Brady, executive director, said that in addition to covering costs for extra masks, shields and other protective equipment, the grant money will pay for a supply of extra flu and pneumonia shots needed to meet demand this season. She said the clinic expects to provide 2,000 flu shots, up from 1,500 last year, and 49 pneumonia shots, up from 15. The shots are among the precautions the clinic is providing to people with respiratory conditions who are at high risk if they contract COVID-19.
Flu shots are available to the public at the clinic, 701 S. Joplin Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Brady said.
"We are very thankful to the Jasper County CARES for doing this," she said of the funds distribution.
Both the Joplin Public Library and the Carthage Public Library have been approved. Joplin will receive $4,889, and Carthage will get $5,746.73.
Julie Yockey, the Carthage library director, said the library's virus protection supplies were damaged by a large water leak in the building, and the library had to buy new personal protection equipment, social distancing markers and cleaning supplies.
The Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau was approved for $4,805.50. Callie Myers, executive director, said the grant will be used to recover the costs of signs, hand sanitizer and extra staff used to clean public spaces for the city's monthly Food Truck Friday event. It was canceled earlier but resumed last month.
Two city governments, Carl Junction and Duquesne, also will receive payments from this round of grants. Duquesne was approved for $3,321.22. Carl Junction will get $17,713.54.
Steve Lawver, the Carl Junction city administrator, said the city sought reimbursement of costs for sanitizing services and personal protective equipment as well as payroll for six city workers who were furloughed during March because of the COVID-19 shutdown.