KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The city's finance committee today approved spending nearly $2.5-million from the general fund to supply training and personal protective equipment to emergency responders.
Personal protective equipment is in short supply right now. The state of Missouri has been struggling to find resources for municipal workers across the Show Me State.
Therefore, the finance committee agreed to spend nearly half of the unallocated money remaining in the city's general fund for the fiscal year that ends on April 30.
About $2.5 million will help make sure police, firefighters and paramedics won't run out of masks, gowns and other protective gear they need to stay safe while helping COVID-19 patients.
"I think it is incredibly important that we’re looking at EMTs, personal protective equipment and training," Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "Make sure we actually have enough staff too, in case some have to be quarantined or isolated for some time. That’s what we’re trying to hit from city government’s side in every way."
Lucas says it's important right now to reallocate budget priorities to address the pandemic and put that money on the streets helping people on the front lines of the fight.
To help protect the city financially, the committee today also voted to implement a hiring freeze at city hall. No new workers will be brought on board.
"We are all being very serious with what we have to do," Lucas said. "You see a lot of it going to public safety. You see a lot of it going to the folks who keep this city running each day. That's probably the way we look for the next six months to a year."
The city also will not renew or enter into any new consulting contracts. The mayor believes that may help save millions of dollars in the coming months.