On Tuesday, July 21, Napa City Council approved a spending plan for $975,000 in grants via the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funds will be focused on providing public assistance to the local economically impacted community members, business community, as well as
internal City operations to improve the safe and efficient workspaces of City employees.
“These funds offer the City of Napa a much-needed opportunity to assist residents, local businesses and staff health concerns,” said Napa City Manager Steve Potter. “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. 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.”
Funds from the CARES Act are bound to specific expense restrictions and therefore must be used for specific purposes and in a predetermined time frame. CARES Act funds will be distributed monthly throughout the summer and into fall, with the final payment expected in October 2020. Funds must be spent by December 2020, though the State prefers that funds be spent before the end of October. 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;
“City staff has outlined a plan for the funds that fulfills all federal and state requirements for CARES Act funding,” said Napa Mayor Jill Techel. “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.”