The SPARK recipients are working to complete COVID-19 related projects by the end of 2020, as required by the grant program.
SPARK is responsible for the statewide distribution of the U.S. Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The total amount of grants disbursed in Bourbon County to over 100 entities was $2,835,212.86 on October 21, 2020, according to Bourbon County Economic Director Jody Hoener.
To see the list of recipients:
The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) taskforce is leading the state through recovery from the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to its’ website. https://covid.ks.gov/spark-recovery-office/
“Congress recently passed the new COVID bill that gave an extension to states and cities on spending this money for a year,” said Jody Hoener, the Bourbon County Economic Development Director. “The State of Kansas Recovery Office indicated there will be an extension on our spending plans, but unknown at this time how much of an extension we will receive.”
Locally, SPARK recipients have been balancing and reconciling expenses.
“At the county level we gathered the department heads who have been awarded funds for programs,” Hoener said. ” We went through every single dollar amount from the department and made sure it matched exactly what the County Clerks Office cut for a check and what Greenbush have in their reports. Any errors are caught and quickly corrected. From there, we subtract the total amount spent from the total amount allocated and have a final amount left to spend.”
The other recipients are also required to submit receipts and invoices of SPARK money, she said.
“For the community’s grant/award expenses( they) need to submit receipts and invoices to show dollars spent,” she said. “Greenbush is going through every single receipt and invoice with a fine-tooth comb. It is very time-consuming as you can imagine. From this, we have a very clear understanding of the amount spent and how much is left to be spent.”
The Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center (also known as Greenbush) was hired by the county commission to administer the SPARK distribution and oversight.
“Greenbush was contracted to administer the county SPARK funds,” Hoener said.