Kanawha businesses and organizations can now apply for coronavirus relief funds.
The Kanawha County Commission is now accepting applications for US bailout funding.
The online application is live on the county’s website, https://kanawha.us/. Paper and PDF versions of the applications are also available from the Kanawha County Commission office.
“The US bailout gives us the flexibility to invest in our communities, our first responders and our local economy,” Commissioner Ben Salango said in a press release. “I am focused on using these funds in the best possible way for the benefit of the citizens of Kanawha County.”
Funds from the US bailout can be used to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to replace lost public revenue, to respond to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, and to make the necessary investments in water, sewers and broadband infrastructure, according to a press release from the commission.
Salango said applications will be considered as they arise, so there is no immediate deadline. The county has until 2024 to spend the money.
“If you’re ready to make the request, if you have all the information and data you need to support the request, go ahead and submit it,” Salango said.
The more involved the project, the more information is needed about the applications, he said.
The online application went live on Thursday evening. By Friday afternoon, Salango had already sent out dozens of applications to those interested, he said.
“The application itself is not expensive,” said Salango. “We didn’t want people jumping through a bunch of unnecessary hoops. We certainly reserve the right to follow up to get more information if we need it, but we wanted to get to where people weren’t intimidated by the application process itself, because we want that. that money goes into the hands of the people who need it most.
Completed applications will be posted on the Kanawha County website for public comment. The committee will vote on the projects to be funded.
Kanawha County has received more than $ 17 million in bailout funding and expects to receive an additional $ 17 million next fiscal year.
Kanawha worked with the office of State Auditor JB McCuskey to launch a “citizen access portal” for US bailout fund requests, McCuskey said at the committee’s regular meeting Thursday.
“This will give your citizens the opportunity to apply for funds for the projects they deem appropriate,” McCuskey said. “In the back, this will give your office the workflows it needs to see where the money is going, who is asking for it, why they are applying, where it is going …”
The portal will also allow the county and other municipalities that use it to bundle similar projects from different organizations, he said.
“Ultimately what this is designed for and what it will do is connect with your constituents and it will make the money spent more transparent,” McCuskey said. “And that will make him closer to those who really need him.” They will feel like they own the way it is done.
McCuskey said municipalities interested in using the platform can contact the auditor’s office at 304-558-2251 and ask for Anthony Woods or Skyler Wotring.