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Council discusses CARES Act funding
Kingsburg City Council

Council discusses CARES Act funding

KINGSBURG - The Kingsburg City Council met last week on Wednesday Aug. 19 and here are some highlights of what was discussed.

CARES Act funding

The city’s potential use of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided a lengthy discussion, as Kingsburg is set to receive approximately $159,000.

The council’s discussion included how they would determine the use of the funds, which must be spent by Dec. 30. The city could use the resources for small businesses that were most impacted by the crisis and could spend the funds on sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment. Funding could be utilized for food delivery to its senior population, for after school programs, additional community testing and distribution of educational materials.

Resources that would be provided for local businesses are funds to purchase PPE and sanitation supplies to make sure they open in a safe and healthy environment for their employees and customers. Funding would also provide improvements for businesses that moved operations outdoors.

Funds for the city could provide building and sanitation expenses for supplies, additional PPE, decontamination foggers, and wages/benefits related to responding to the pandemic. The city would be provided funds for enforcement efforts related to ensuring public health orders are followed by local businesses.

Money for local programs would support after school programs child care assistance for essential workers and food delivery to the city’s senior population. Funds could also go to community testing and educational resources for families affected by distancing learning.

There was discussion if more money could be used for testing and educational resources or if local businesses would receive more financial support. The city has until Sept. 4 to submit their funding. The council would hold its meeting two days prior on Sept. 2.

The CARES ACT is designed to provide economic assistance to cities with struggling entities due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 update

Before the CARES Act discussion, an update on COVID-19 numbers in Kingsburg was provided.

As of Aug. 19, Kingsburg had 345 total cases with 224 of those cleared, leaving 121 of them remaining open/active cases. Kingsburg’s numbers in active cases increased on Aug. 20 at 173.

According to the Aug. 19 numbers, Kingsburg’s virus death toll is six and 129 cases came from close contact or person-to-person, 131 of them were community spread or unknown, seven were travel related and 78 are currently under investigation.

During the Aug. 5 meeting, the council discussed enforcement regarding businesses not complying with the county’s public health orders and the city has received two complaints since that meeting. There’s been two follow ups from city staff and one business has been cleared after following all protocols while another business is due to receive an additional notice of non-compliance.

City manager Alexander Henderson said he wasn’t sure if the increased numbers were due to non-compliance of public health orders.

Fresno County remains on the state’s monitoring list and will need to decrease its COVID-19 positivity rate from 11% to 8%.

Project updates

There were a number of commercial and residential projects that were discussed during the meeting. The projects were either currently in development or in the planning phase.

Some of the notable projects that were discussed were Kingsburg Business Park, the Swedish Mill, Magosh Brewery, Stone Plaza, Grocery Outlet and Adventist Health.

Several lots at Kingsburg Business Park are in escrow and are expected to close by Dec. 31. Valley Health team is waiting to construct a new 15,000 square foot facility on Sierra Street and California Controlled Atmosphere is estimated to complete a second building (4,800 square feet) on their property by the end of the year.

As for the Swedish Mill, there is a potential tenant working on plans to refurbish the building with an estimated completion by the middle of December.

Magosh Brewery is currently under construction with an anticipated opening date in the middle of October. Outdoor connections have been installed and underground utilities are currently being worked on.

Stone Plaza is expected to be a multi-use complex with apartments and commercial space and it will be located at the intersection of Draper and California streets. It was discussed that the Stone Plaza owner is finalizing the lease with a tenant for the first floor. The upper floor will be used for apartments.

Grocery Outlet is currently under construction on Simpson Street and south of Sierra Street. The grocery store, which is expected to be 17,800 square feet, is estimated to open in early 2021.

An Adventist Health building is also currently under construction in the same area and estimated to open in April 2021.

Councilmembers appointed

Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Laura North and Brandon Pursell Jr. were appointed to the Kingsburg City Council office after both ran for the seats unopposed. Since both were running unopposed, election law allows cities to forgo the election process and save on costs for council seats for unopposed candidates.

North will continue serving in District 2 while Pursell Jr. will serve District 3 after Sherman Dix didn’t file for re-election.

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

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