Prairie Village earmarks $25,000 to purchases COVID-19 test kits, masks for residents

Prairie Village entrance sign

Prairie Village is allotting $25,000 for emergency expenditures related to COVID-19 such as at-home test kits and KN95 masks. City staff is going to keep a running inventory of these items to help avoid supply chain delays as much as possible. File photo.

The Prairie Village City Council this week earmarked $25,000 of emergency expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will pay for things like purchasing at-home test kits for residents and personal protective equipment for city staff.

Why it matters: A week before the city council approved a citywide mask mandate, it allotted $5,000 to purchase 100 at-home COVID-19 test kits. This was in an effort to help residents, and potentially employees, access tests as their supply dwindled around the metro.

City staff updated the governing body at the Jan. 18 meeting and said the kits, which were ordered on Jan. 4 following a city council directive, might be shipped this week — but supply chain delays and demands could change that.

That’s when Councilmember Inga Selders proposed the idea of allocating funds for city staff to use at their discretion to maintain an inventory of masks (KN95 or N95) and test kits.

There is a citywide mask mandate currently in place in Prairie Village.

The details: Nickie Lee, the city’s finance director, said the city will be able to set aside the $25,000 from federal funding the city received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Lee said the federal funds are sitting in investments and are ready to be used.

The supplies are intended for residents, though previous city council action determined that if supplies outweighed demand, test kits could be distributed to city staff.

Key quote: “We’ve talked to other communities that rolled out some tests, and it seemed like they didn’t order enough and created some upset residents in that process,” City Administrator Wes Jordan told the city council.