At the Joint city/county/school district virtual meeting Monday, updates were given about COVID-19 numbers, SPARK funding and the school district’s reopening plan.

Garry Berges, Geary County Emergency Management director, informed viewers of the purpose of the Emergency Operations Center and what it is doing to help get information out to the public.

“The duties of the EOC is to help coordinate the response to the incident and obtain necessary equipment and supplies,” he said. “We're also in charge of doing the social media. That's very important in this time, and stuff going on because everything's changing. We post stuff daily, sometimes hourly, through our Facebook page, Geary County Emergency Management. Also, we've got a Gary county website updated and we do that daily at 3 p.m.”

Tammy Von Busch, Health Department administrator, gave updated numbers on the COVID-19 cases in the county.

“Currently we have 118 total positives and 25 of those are active cases,” she said. “We did have another death over the weekend so that brings our total number of deaths up to two for the county.”

County Commissioner Brad Scholz, gave an update on the process for the SPARK funding for round one. He said all but one department had turned in all paperwork to the consulting firm, Witt O’Brien’s, for verification. He also said that proposals and guidance for round two is in the process of being put out by the state.  

“Garry and I sat in on the July 24 webinar,” he said. “It looks like it won't be the county that handles those funds, it will be a direct pay from the state. So those will be requested directly from the state.”

He said round two is broken down into four sections: Public Health, Economic Development, connectivity and education — early childhood development, higher education and community and technical colleges.

Dr. Reginald Eggleston, Geary County Unified School District superintendent, talked about the plan for reopening schools saying that a presentation will be made at the school Board of Education meeting July 28 with a start date of Aug. 31.

“That would give us a couple more weeks in preparation for the start of the year,” he said.

Allen Dinkel, city manager, reminded everyone that the Community Development Block Grant funding was accepting applications to help small businesses of up to 50 people. He said anyone business interested in the program can contact him at the city office, 700 N. Jefferson Street, by contacting allen.dinkel@jcks.com or

tammy.melton@jcks.com or by calling

785-238-2591 Ext 300.

The next joint meeting will be Aug 24.

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