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Council continues discussion of COVID-19 relief funds

Council continues discussion of COVID-19 relief funds

KINGSBURG — The City of Kingsburg submitted its first required report of coronavirus relief funds on Thursday after the City Council held a discussion regarding the city’s use of that money during its regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

With direction from the council, the city will utilize the funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act towards the following five areas: Payroll for public health and safety employees, small business assistance, public health expenses, personal protective equipment (PPE) and food programs.

Kingsburg is set to receive approximately $159,000 and all funds must be used by Dec. 30.

This is how the money will be distributed in those five categories:

  • Payroll for public health and safety employees ($60,000)
  • Small business assistance ($60,00)
  • Public Health Expenses ($20,00)
  • Personal protective equipment ($10,000)
  • Food programs ($5,00)

There are three additional categories that funds could be utilize funds for:

  • Budgeted personnel and services diverted to a substantially different use
  • Improve telework capabilities of public employees
  • Administrative expenses

One of the highlights that was discussed during the council meeting was a small business grant program, which is an eligibility-based program that is being implemented by the city to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19. Funds from the CARES Act will be used for the grant program.

There was discussion if businesses, such as hair salons, barber shops and restaurants, should be prioritized for the grant program. The council also discussed if businesses could get prioritized and put them in tiers for the program.

The council will discuss the proposed grant program in its next meeting on Sept. 16.

Park development

The second item on the agenda was a discussion of allocations from the state’s per capita program for parks development. The funds from the program is through the Parks and Water Act Bond of 2018 (proposition 68). Funds from the program for all cities and local districts, including Kingsburg, is $177,852.

In addition to the allocation, Kingsburg is set to receive $7,573.76 in urban county per capita funds, which are allocated at a rate of $0.61 per capita in cities and districts in urbanized counties with a population of 500,000 or more. Park and recreation services are provided in those counties within jurisdictions of 200,000 residents or less.

The council unanimously voted 5-0 to approve the application for program grant funds. With the council approving the application, the city will submit to the state that it will be accepting the funding and the council and the city’s community services commission will have a discussion about which projects will get funded.

There is a timeline for the per capita program and the city is in the resolution stage, meaning that the city will accept the grant funds and city staff will submit the grant to the Office of Grant and Local Services (OGALS) before the Dec. 31 deadline. After, the city could begin the application process, submitting applications for park projects that the city would like the money to be allocated to.

There are eight sites in Kingsburg that are eligible for funding, which are Bi-Centennial Park, Crandell Swim Complex, Downtown Park, Erling Park, Heritage Park, Kingsburg Dog Park, Memorial Park and Athwal Park.

A separate application for each project is required and all applications need to be submitted by June 30, 2021. The city could submit as many as possible, as there’s no cap on the amount of applications.

For project funding, the following qualifications must be met:

  • Development of a new park, expansion of an existing park, or renovation of an existing park
  • The project can only have one location. One project serving several parks in not permitted
  • Projects not serving a “severely disadvantaged community” require a 20% match
  • Funds must be used to supplement existing expenditures, rather than replace them

Athwal Park is the only site that requires a 20% match of per capita while the other seven sites don’t require a match.

COVID-19 update

Prior to discussing the funds for the CARES Act, an update on COVID-19 numbers was provided by Henderson.

As of Sept. 2, Kingsburg has 396 total cases with 281 of those cases cleared (115 remaining open/active.)

The mode of transmission numbers were also updated with 168 cases coming from close contact or from person-to-person. Cases that were community spread or unknown are 155, seven are travel related, 66 are under investigation and the death total increases to 18.

Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at (559) 583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com. Follow Jeremiah on Twitter at @TheJerryMartin. 

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