CARES ACT

An ordinance that places limitations on how justices of the peace can bring items before the Quorum Court is heading to the full Washington County Quorum Court after it passed through the County Services Committee Monday evening. The ordinance requires all proposed ordinances to go through a committee and prohibits proposed ordinances from being raised a second time within a year if an ordinance was voted down the first time it was presented.

During their regular meeting Thursday, the majority of the Washington County justices of the peace voted against an ordinance that would put a portion of the county's CARES Act reimbursement toward pandemic financial aid programs. Late last year, the county received $4.5 million from the state's allotment of federal relief funding.

Courtesy / University of Arkansas Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas Fort Smith is receiving $2.755 million in federal relief funding for students impacted by the pandemic. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed in December, authorized more than $81 billion in support for education. UAFS officials say they're providing grants to students because many are need.

 

As the Washington County Quorum Court met to discuss its budget for 2021, two other issues were raised: the county's plans for a $4.5 million reimbursement from the state's CARES Act allotment and the muting of Justices of the Peace who are attending meetings via Zoom.

Courtesy / Cindy Arsaga

On Dec. 23, $48 million dollars worth of Business Interruption Grants were awarded to 2,136 struggling tourism, travel, recreation, hospitality and personal care businesses in Arkansas. The grants will offset operating costs and salaries, and range from several hundred to a quarter million dollars.

 

Arkansas service and hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic have until Wednesday at midnight to apply for Business Interruption Program grants, made available through the federal CARES Act. Stacy Hurst,  Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, as well as Mary Beth Brooks, director of  the Small Business Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas describe the process and need. The help line number is (888) 722-1554.

Courtesy / City of Springdale

As city and county governments across Arkansas receive reimbursements from the state's allotment of CARES Act funding, Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse explains what the city will do with its nearly $2.9 million share. He says a discussion about purchasing a firing range for the police department got incorrectly mixed up with a discussion about the federal funds.