Oklahoma County Commissioner Carrie Blumert wants survey input on what to do with $47 million worth of CARES money to be distributed throughout Oklahoma County. The funding is the county’s share of the money sent by the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Blumert said this funding is to alleviate expenses related to COVID-19. The US Treasury Department has issued guidance on appropriate uses of the funds. All spending must be tied directly to relief from the effects of COVID-19 or to prevent further spread of the virus. The county has until December 30, 2020, to allocate and spend the funds.
Blumert shared a survey on the Oklahoma County website for residents in District One asking for a ranking on the following issues:
|Testing and tracing – staffing, equipment, electronics, PPE, etc.*|
|Mobile testing vans *|
|Homeless Services: Preventing outbreaks among our neighbors who are homeless via adequate testing and safe quarantining*|
|Workforce training for individuals who were laid off due to COVID-19*|
|Mental health support for communities affected by COVID-19*|
|PPE (personal protective equipment) for adult and juvenile detention staff and detainees, county staff, jurors, judges, etc.*|
|Improve 911 technology for secure public messaging alerts*|
|Direct support to non-profit agencies who serve those most affected by COVID-19*|
“We are committed to a transparent process. Our Budget Evaluation Team (an eight-person committee of staff members from each elected official’s office) is using open meetings to evaluate the COVID-19 related needs of county government operations and the community at large. They will make recommendations to the Oklahoma County Budget Board (the eight county elected officials),” Blumert wrote on her post.
Elected officials in Oklahoma County include the three commissioners, Blumert represents Luther and some unincorporated areas in Eastern Oklahoma County. Other elected officials are court clerk, district attorney, sheriff, assessor and treasurer.
Are there other topics you would like to see addressed as it pertains to our rural area? As we know, there are no medical facilities in our town (yet), and our volunteer first responders on the Luther Fire Department answer medical calls and have ongoing equipment needs and upgrades. The Luther Police Department also is limited in resources for items like PPE. Radio communication is also an ongoing struggle, however, the Town of Luther earned a REAP (Rural Economic Action Plan grant of $32,000 that will be applied to new police radios later this summer.
The survey includes a question to share your additional thoughts.