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County approves final CARES funding requests from Magnet

The Cape Girardeau County Commission has approved additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, including $63,073 to Cape Girardeau Area Magnet to be disbursed to the local businesses and organizations to cover personal protective equipment (PPE).

The County has approved over $290,000 total of CARES Act funding to be distributed by the Cape Girardeau Area Magnet.

The final round of Magnet funds included requests from St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Heartland Family Pharmacy, Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation, Regional Eyecare Center, Kimbeland Country Club, Glendale Assisted Living, Egypt Mills, MedStop One, Jackson Medical, Cape Precision Machine, Big River Telephone Company and East Missouri Action Agency.

The commissioners also approved CARES Act funding to area organizations including up to $10,000 to the Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri, up to $10,000 to Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri and up to $50,000 to the Safe House for Women. All three of these approved funding are to cover coronavirus-related temporary housing and rental assistance expenses from March 1 to Dec. 1.

The Commission approved up to $202,000 to the Cape Girardeau School District for additional COVID-related expenses. The commission previously approved CARES funding for the school district to cover coronavirus-related expenses through the summer.

Additional approved CARES funding were $4,300 to the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to cover three laptop computers for remote work needed due to COVID-19 and $1,100 to the Emanuel United Church of Christ for PPE.

The Commission approved refunding $982,249 to county offices with the county’s CARES Act funds. The reimbursement was for previously approved CARES Act purchases that have incurred since March.

The Commission has allocated nearly all of the county’s $9.2 million of CARES Act funding, although the funding is not distributed until paid receipts are turned in to the County.

In other action:

• The Commission approved a tower lease agreement with the City of Jackson to move the county’s radio antenna for the volunteer fire districts from the old county courthouse to Jackson’s water tower on Highway 61.

The County will build a small building at the water tower to hold equipment. The county will put four antennas on the tower and the City will put up to two additional antennas.

“It’s a two-year project finally coming to fruition,” Emergency Management Director Mark Winkler said. The tower at the old courthouse will be removed, as it was recommended to no longer be in service.

• The Commission approved almost $340,000 in new highway department equipment. The total includes a Freightliner 114SD, a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab, a John Deere 670G Motor Grader, a Ford 550 Pickup and a John Deere 333G Compact Track Loader.

Commissioner Paul Koeper said the highway department normally orders the equipment for next year’s budget early because it usually takes a couple months for the new trucks to come in.

• The Commission presented a commendation to Edie Davis, who has retired as a 911 dispatcher with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office. Davis worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 18 years.

Davis said she has enjoyed everyone she has met during her time with the County and working as a 911 communications officer. Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson said Davis would be missed not only as a dispatcher, but also as the office’s “resident photographer.”

• The Commission approved a new AT&T contract for 911 services, with trunk line expenses going from $5,000 to $578 a month. The new contract was partially due to the combined dispatch center between the County and the City of Jackson. The contract is price set for the next three years and is renewable each year.

• The County has received the 29 new AEDs that were ordered and training has been scheduled. The county had previously had nine AEDs, which will be replaced. The additional 20 will allow for additional AEDs in the new courthouse, as well as AEDs in every sheriff deputy’s patrol vehicle.

“They are pretty durable and they’re ready to go,” Winkler said.

• The County Commission approved its 2021 agreement with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri on Nov. 2. The Humane Society provides animal control for the County, as well as with the City of Jackson and City of Cape Girardeau.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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