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2020 Annual Report Coronavirus Relief Funds

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, referred to as the (“CARES”) Act, to assist the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.  Section 5001 of the CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide state and local governments with $150 billion to offset certain costs associated with fighting the pandemic.

On April 22, 2020, Johnson County received $116,311,033.60 from the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of the CRF. Johnson and Sedgewick counties were the only in the state of Kansas to receive direct funding, based on their populations of more than 500,000.

CRF were only allowed to be used to cover costs that were:

  • Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.
  • Not accounted for in the 2020 budget.
  • Incurred March 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020, which was later extended through December 31, 2021.

On July 9, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted Resolution No. 041-20, authorizing the acceptance of Johnson County’s share of CRF from the state of Kansas’ Impact Fund. In addition to the amount of the direct aid for counties with populations under 500,000, the State Recovery Office also established an Impact Fund of $50 million to distribute to the hardest hit counties experiencing high COVID-19 cases and/or high unemployment rates. Johnson County was eligible for $7,977,835 of State Impact Funds (SIF).

Johnson County established a 3-phase spending plan

Phase 1 – Approximately 50% allocated to Local Taxing Jurisdictions

Allocations during this phase addressed the needs of local taxing jurisdictions with expenses such as personal protective equipment (PPE), modifications to facilities to accommodate the need to social distance and other protective measures, additional cleaning and disinfection of facilities and equipment, as well as payroll costs for public health and safety employees whose services were substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A committee of city and county representatives was comprised for planning purposes of Phase 1. The committee included city administrators/managers from the cities of Olathe, Shawnee and Roeland Park as well as Johnson County Government’s finance director and assistant finance director, deputy director of Emergency Management, and the deputy county manager.

Phase 2 – Approximately 30% allocated to Community Re-Investment

Consistent with the BOCC’s previously identified priorities, community survey responses, and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, five funding priorities were addressed in Phase 2. Those priorities were:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Aging
  3. Housing
  4. Workforce Development/Small Business Support
  5. Digital Access

The county hired the University of Kansas to provide strategic support in development of the Phase 2 programs. “Strike Teams” comprised of key community stakeholders were engaged in a rapid response approach to define problems and develop innovative programmatic solutions that focused on the Phase 2 priorities identified by the board.

In September 2020, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved $35,324,000 to fund 14 proposals recommended by a Community Reinvestment Committee, representing a group of nearly 80 Johnson County stakeholders who put together the plan. The application processes to apply for these funding programs will open up over the coming weeks.

Details on the funded proposals and the process the committee followed are available here.

  • Direct Grants to Small Businesses and Direct Grants to Cultural Arts Businesses
  • School Age Remote Learning and Childcare Program
  • Short-term Workforce Skills Training and Workforce Supports
  • Rent, Utility, and Mortgage Assistance
  • Emergency Housing Solutions
  • Direct Assistance for Household Internet, IT Upcycling and Project Mgmt.
  • Rural Johnson County Fiber Service
  • Digital Navigators    
  • Visitation Structure/Space for Senior Care Organizations
  • Social Isolation Virtual Programming
  • Transportation to Support Health, Workforce, and Food Access for Seniors During COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Rapid Testing Machines (targeted for older adult care facilities)
  • Grant Support for Nonprofits providing Mental Health Services
  • Removing Barriers to Accessing Behavioral Health Services

Phase 3 – Approximately 20% allocated to Administrative and Audit Costs, Contingency Funds, Additional funding for Local Taxing Jurisdictions and Community Re-investments

The county hired the Disaster Recovery Consulting Firm, Witt O’Brien’s, to provide expertise and oversight to guarantee compliance of all laws and regulations regarding expenditures using federal funds. Additional costs incurred as part of the County’s Single Audit will be paid from Phase 3.

The following chart shows the breakdown of the $116 million of CRF funds by Entity Type through December 31, 2020. This is for all three phases of the plan. The three largest entities make up approximately 85% of the total funding and include:

  1. Johnson County Government at $63 million
  2. Community Partners of $18.2 million
  3. Johnson County Cities of $18.1 million

Chart data outlined below

$116M CRF Funding by Entity Type

  • Johnson County Government - $63M
  • Cities - $18.1M
  • School Districts K-12 - $4.8M
  • Higher Education Institutions - $783K
  • Parochial Schools - $204K
  • Community Partners - $18.2M
  • Allocated/Unspent - $7.3M
  • JoCo Park & Recreation - $3.7M
  • Fire Districts - $235K
  • Food Pantries - $153K

The following chart shows the breakdown of the $116 million of CRF funds by Federal Expense Category through December 31, 2020. This is for all three phases of the plan. The three largest expense categories make up approximately 72% of the total funding and include:

  1. Payroll for city and county public health and safety employees substantially dedicated to mitigating and responding to COVID-19 of $61.2 million.
  2. Small business assistance of $13.6 million.
  3. Facilitating distance learning/digital access through payments to our schools, K-12, parochial and higher education institutions, as well as community partners of $9 million.

Chart data outlined below

The following chart shows the breakdown of Phase 2 CRF funding, awarded and spent, by strategic priority area. The county awarded $35,324,000 in Phase 2 CRF funding for community reinvestment programs. 

The top three programs make up approximately 61% and include:

  1. Direct grants to small businesses of $13.5 million.
  2. Short-term workforce skills training and workforce supports of $5 million.
  3. Rent, utility and mortgage assistance of $3.3 million.

Chart data outlined below

The hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic are many. But Johnson County was able to respond to the pandemic in a variety of ways in our community. Listed below are several highlights of the accomplishments achieved utilizing the CRF funds.

  • Purchased 52,215,202 items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gowns, coveralls, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Provided emergency housing for homeless individuals who might have been COVID-19 positive, or exposed to COVID-19, to prevent the virus from further spreading within our community.
  • Supported Johnson County households at-risk for eviction or mortgage default and subsequent housing loss due to nonpayment through $3,112,500 awarded in rent, utility and mortgage assistance.
  • Provided approximately $580,000 to 32 long-term care facilities to provide safe spaces and social distancing accommodations for elderly individuals to meet with friends and family to prevent social isolation.
  • Assisted long-term care facilities by providing $2,850,000 in funding to purchase necessary rapid COVID-19 tests, PPE and sanitation supplies to ensure safe and healthy living conditions for employees and residents.
  • Purchased more than 200 tablets to provide technology to enable delivery of behavioral and mental health services via telehealth to Johnson County residents disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 currently having limited or no digital access.

We heard from the community about the positive impact this funding made in the lives of Johnson County constituents.

Provided approximately 8,500 bags of food to elderly and vulnerable populations.

  • “We coordinated delivery of 800 bags to various families within our community. All were extremely grateful, with several families moved to tears with gratitude at your generosity.” – College Church of the Nazarene Food Pantry

Improved mental health by combating social isolation through engaging in educational virtual programs.

  • “Thank you ALL for organizing this for all of us stuck or sheltering at home. VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!”
  • “I can’t express enough how much I love this opportunity to learn, but to also stay home and be safe. Many, many thanks to you and your staff and all the volunteers!”
  • “Thanks so much for the uplifting program. It was really helpful and brightened my day.”

Provided 1,350 small business grants and 45 artist relief grants.

  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I feel so fortunate. If you read my application, you know I am ready to put this (grant) to good use and keep my son and myself on track. It’s a day-by-day task. Thank you for your part in helping to make this happen.”
  • “Thank you so much. I will watch for the final grant agreement. I appreciate the help Johnson County is offering.”
  • “Thank you so much for your email. I cannot begin to express the gratitude and relief I felt over the weekend upon receiving notification of the grant award.”

In closing, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. However, this first round of financial support has made a positive difference in the lives of Johnson County’s constituents and will continue to do so, as the County shifts focus towards vaccination efforts in the coming months.

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Questions or concerns?

If you have questions about Johnson County’s public health order or to report a concern about a violation, email [email protected].

If you have virus-related questions, call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline. You can also call this number if you need a safe place to quarantine or isolate.

Staffed by public health professionals.
913-715-CV19 (2819)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.