St. Louis County has nearly $175 million in federal grant money to spend in response to the coronavirus, but the county has been charging local first responders for masks.
As some St. Louis County police departments and fire districts have found themselves shorthanded on masks and other personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak, the County Council approved $1.8 million in funding specifically aimed at providing masks to local first responders.
But the county is charging for those masks, which came as a surprise to the sponsor of that legislation.
Third District Councilman Tim Fitch, R-Fenton, said during a council committee hearing Thursday that he received a phone call earlier in the morning from a local fire chief asking why the county is charging fire districts for the masks. The fire chief’s district had picked up masks at the county’s warehouse near Valley Park and was surprised to receive a bill.