Funds from CARES act to be distributed soon in Pratt County

Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune
Pratt County Commissioners are working on plans to distribute CARES funds received for COVID-19 relief. A special report from the commission's Monday, June 22 public meeting about building a safety center will be available on

County governments will be receiving funds for COVID-19 relief but exactly what those funds can be used for is still being set. In Kansas, each county will receive $194 per person for COVID-19 relief, Pratt County economic director Heather Morgan said at the Pratt County Commission meeting on June 15.

Morgan said funds from the CARES act will be distributed to state governments that will distribute those funds to counties based on the population of the county so counties with higher population will receive more funds.

There will be a lot of guidelines on how the money can and cannot be used. It can't used for anything that is already budgeted or for revenue short falls. These funds have to be used by Dec. 31. They cannot be encumbered so they have to be used or they have to be sent back, Morgan said.

Once the guidelines are set, counties can start using the money for COVID-19 related needs.

Tim Branscom, Pratt County Emergency Manager, said the first round of payments should be coming out before the end of June. There will be around $400 million released to local governments.

Darcie Van Der Vyver, Director of Public Health, said there were four new positive cases for COVID-19 in Pratt County. This brings to a total of six positives in the county. The two previous cases have recovered.

These positives were discovered during four required pre-operation tests. The people, two men and two women, are not associated with each other and their age ranges were from 40 to 60.

Van Der Vyver said these tests would be reran because all four were all asymptomatic and were in the same batch. A later report stated that those test remained positive, but are now considered recovered, so Pratt County does not have any active COVID-19 cases on record at this time.

Commissioners reviewed the rules for the public meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 22 at the Municipal Building to discuss the proposed Pratt County Public Safety Center. A full report of that meeting will be available Friday on the Pratt Tribune website, and in the July 1, 2020 issue of The Pratt Tribune.