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Staunton City Council briefed on how the city is using its CARES Act dollars

stauntonThe City of Staunton has already spent or committed roughly half of the $4.35 million that it has been allocated under the federal CARES Act to mitigate impacts on government operations, schools and the economy from the public health response to COVID-19.

This according to a report presented to Staunton City Council Thursday night.

In fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30, $132,485 was expended on COVID-19-related costs for both the city and Staunton City Schools on a variety of protection and prevention measures including testing for employees, floor markings for physical distancing for elections and other city departments, custodial services, and glass and plexiglass partitions for customer service areas among other items.

During this time period, funds were also provided for business assistance in the form of PPE kits and the match requirement for the Emergency Disaster Relief Loan Program for businesses administered by the Staunton Creative Community Fund.

In FY2021, $1,925,237 has been spent to date and/or is planned to be spent for a variety of government, school and community purposes.

The largest allocation, $1.1 million, has gone to Staunton City Schools for nutrition needs including meal delivery for students and associated equipment, technology needs including increases in wireless and server capacity, and support for operations and transportation.

The next largest expenditure, $500,000, has been for business recovery/assistance through the Small Business Assistance Grant program administered by Staunton’s Economic Development Authority.

Funds have also gone to support public safety operations and general facility and City staff needs.

City staff is recommending a number of additional expenditures through Dec. 30, including continued resources for city schools, assistance to individuals and nonprofits through the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge to support needs related to utility payments and rent/mortgage assistance, downtown business and tourism support, and technology improvements to improve public meeting and city customer access in a continued virtual environment.

A number of requests are still being considered for the remaining unallocated CARES Act funding. These include needs in the areas of temporary housing public safety, tourism and business assistance as well as the possibility of providing hazard pay for eligible city personnel.

augusta free press
augusta free press