In early June, it appeared that Frontenac might miss out on federal coronavirus relief money for local businesses and meal programs that other area cities would be receiving, but that is no longer the case following the announcement last week of a second round of funding.
Gov. Laura Kelly’s office announced a second round of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV) funds last Thursday for 56 Kansas communities — including Frontenac, which, like the cities of Pittsburg and Girard as well as Crawford County, applied for the first round of funding awarded in June, but unlike those other government entities was not approved for any of the money at the time.
Frontenac was awarded $132,000 in the second round — the same amount granted in the first round of funding to Southeast Kansas cities including Parsons, Fort Scott and Chanute.
"I’m pleased to announce this additional round of resources for our communities," Kelly said in a press release. "This is vital assistance that will strengthen local economies, improve the lives of Kansas residents, and keep our economy open for business."
County officials also discussed the announcement of the second round of CDBG-CV funding at the Crawford County Commission meeting Friday and the impact on the county’s finances now that it is clear that there will be money separately awarded to Frontenac.
"So they are now out of our program," said County Counselor Jim Emerson. "That’s been the big question — in or out. So they are back out of our program and they’ll be running a separate program, which is nice. That’s significant for them and it really helps out our county money too."
Crawford County outside of Pittsburg and Girard — and now Frontenac — has its own $132,000 previously awarded through the program to distribute to area businesses and meal programs. The county commission approved program parameters including eligibility requirements for businesses seeking CDBG-CV funds at its Friday meeting.
Pittsburg received $170,300 in the first round, while Girard — along with the broader area served by the USD 248 school district — received $169,200. Businesses and meal programs interested in applying for grant funding can contact their local city government if located in Pittsburg, Girard or Frontenac, or the county government if located outside of those cities but within Crawford County, for additional information on how to do so.
Aside from CDBG-CV funding, Crawford County is also set to receive a substantially larger amount of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding — $7.8 million — of which more than $1.4 million is expected to be distributed to small businesses and nonprofits countywide. Other recipients will likely include area healthcare organizations, school districts, and Pittsburg State University.