$350K in COVID relief money goes to soccer complex

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$350K in COVID relief money goes to soccer complex

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Johnson County residents have said they are outraged by Overland Park’s plan to allocate $350,000 in federal COVID-19 relief money to purchase cameras for the broadcast of games at Scheels Soccer Complex.

Overland Park City Council voted 10-2 to purchase the video equipment with federal aid. Overland Park also will grant Musco Sports Lighting the license to stream games on its platform, and the city would receive 70% of all revenue made from people paying to watch or download the videos.

The two councilmen who voted no, Faris Farassati and Scott Hamblin, argued that it was an inappropriate use of funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act.

When we look at the CARES Act and where this country is going with the economy, people are losing jobs. People are not able to pay rent. People are not able to pay utilities. I personally do not find it necessary to buy a bunch of expensive cameras to essentially make money,” Farassati said at the meeting, which was followed by applause.

In Overland Park’s application for funding, which was provided to The Star, the city requests $350,000 for “video broadcasting platform” expenses. The application does not mention soccer, sports or the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, at 135th Street and Switzer Road.

The $350,000 for the soccer complex cameras is the second most expensive item on the list. The most expensive, estimated at $455,000, is for software and technology for emergency management operations. The third most expensive item, $340,000, would go toward telework equipment for the public safety and public works departments.
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