NAPA, CA — The Napa City Council approved a spending plan Tuesday for $975,000 in grant funds the city received through the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security — CARES— Act.
Napa City Manager Steve Potter said the grant funds give the city “a much-needed opportunity to assist residents, local businesses and staff health concerns.”
The funds are part of the $2-trillion economic relief package passed March 27 by Congress that also included stimulus checks for American taxpayers. The city was restricted to spending the CARES Act funds on specific purposes related to the coronavirus pandemic, so it focused on providing assistance to local economically impacted community members and the business community. The money will also be spent on improvements to internal city operations and workspaces for city employees.
“While the funds will not make up for the revenues that have been lost due to coronavirus, they will allow us to improve safety for our staff and the public in our facilities and to address equipment needed to effectively work remotely,” Potter said. “As the realities of our situation evolve, we are doing everything we can to adapt and continue providing the high-quality service our residents expect from us.”
City staff recommended and City Council approved the following distribution plan for the funds:
$25,000 in Personal Protective Equipment — PPE— and related cleaning/sanitation supplies;
$50,000 to assist in communication outreach with the community and staff related to COVID-19;
$100,000 grant to eviction avoidance program (to supplement existing funds; any unused funding from other categories will be allocated to this grant);
$100,000 to grant program for local businesses to assist in purchases of COVID-19 related supplies and/or business interruption costs;
$250,000 for staff equipment to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by facilitating feasible and longer-term work-from-home scenarios to promote social distancing; and
$450,000 for technological upgrades to online security and project tracking software to protect City information and data.
The city must spend the money by December so it will disburse the funds under a payment schedule that ends in October — the time frame preferred by the state.
“City staff has outlined a plan for the funds that fulfills all federal and state requirements for CARES Act funding,” Napa Mayor Jill Techel said. “We are pleased that we will be able provide additional funding to help tenants and small businesses survive the COVID-19 crisis and also improve customer service delivery online through technology.”
This article originally appeared on the Napa Valley Patch