Where’d the money go? Student-led documentary details county’s use of $3.7 million in CARES Act funding

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, lrnews@frontiernet.net

Tri-City United High School students and educators played key roles in creating “The County that CARES” documentary for Le Sueur County. Pictured (left to right): TCU Director of Information Technology and Facilities Carl Menk, senior Alex Matchinski, 2021 graduate Arya Menk, 2016 graduate Austyn Menk, TCU Media Productions teacher Carey Langer, and TCU Teaching and Learning Coordinator Matt Flugum.

Le Sueur County received $3.7 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), part of a $2.2 trillion federal economic stimulus bill that was passed in March 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, how did the county spend those dollars?

A student-led documentary titled “A County that CARES” breaks down the hows and whys regarding the county’s stimulus spending. The documentary is available via a link on the county’s website (co.le-sueur.mn.us) and at https://youtu.be/cJ0yAcRdWK8.

The approximately 17-minute video was created by Tri-City United High School students, county leaders, members of the county’s CARES Act Steering Team, and professional contractors. Funding from the Blandin Foundation made the project possible.

According to the documentary, the largest portion (49%) of the county’s CARES Act dollars was used to expand broadband internet and wireless coverage, provide internet access points, and improve technology throughout the county.

The rest of the county’s CARES Act spending is...

To see more on this story pick up the December 9, 2021 print edition of The New Prague Times, Montgomery Messenger or the LifeEnterprise papers.

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