City of Del Rio

City council members Tuesday heard details of how the city is spending federal funds allocated to the city for COVID-19 related expenses.

City Manager Matt Wojnowski gave a presentation on the grant funds and how they are being spent during Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.

“We have two main sources for reimbursement for COVID-related expenses that are eligible. We’ve been talking a lot about the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. That is one avenue.

“The other avenue is the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) PA or public assistance grant funding. The FEMA grant has no limit. The deadline for that is 30 days after the event is over, and this event is the COVID situation. This grant will pay for 75 percent of the expenses, and the CARES Act can be used for the remaining 25 percent,” Wojnowski said.

“So the main areas and the amounts that we have spent thus far from the FEMA grant is, on the medical side, the refrigerated truck, approximately $11,000. Our public health supplies; these are masks, disinfectant, sanitizer, thermometers, dispensers and plexiglass. Currently we’ve spent almost $134,000,” the city manager said.

Wojnowski said funds from this grant can also be used for payroll expenses.

“For this grant, we can use it toward payroll for reassigned and temporary positions. Currently, our estimate is at about $81,000, and we project an additional $258,000. Some areas that are reassigned or new or temporary positions are positions that I mentioned with the county, and the LHA, the contact tracers, the two RNs and the admin assistant,” he said.

“For temporary positions, these are admin help for the emergency management coordinator, health screeners at City Hall and the annex building, and an intern that’s been helping Ori with the small business grant program, and the reassigned employees are those that are working primarily out of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) call center and the civic center employees that have been assigned to assist at the Nutrition Center,” he added.

Wojnowski also detailed how the city is using the CARES Act funds.

“We know we are allowed up to a little over $1.9 million, and it does have a Dec. 31 deadline, and we can use this funding to be the 25 percent match for the FEMA. Our projected estimate for the 25 percent currently is $142,000,” Wojnowski said.

“On the payroll side for the CARES Act funding, which is primarily for budgeted positions, our current estimate is roughly $486,000. We have an additional projected of about the same amount, and some of the positions that will be eligible for this are the emergency management coordinator, the public media team – they haven’t been reassigned, but most of their duties have been related to COVID related – and our police park patrol. Again, they weren’t reassigned, but their duties have shifted to enforce the declaration rather than what they normally would do,” Wojnowski said.

“There’s two other portions in the CARES Act funding. The next area is technology compliance, and currently we’ve spent about $29,000, and we project an additional $174,000. Some of the examples here are the technology we use to help us to be able to work from home or at a distance, so, for example, the Go To Meeting, additional laptops for our employees, the Incode software we use moving that to the Cloud, so more employees can work from home that utilize Incode,” Wojnowski said.

“The last program is the small business grant program. Currently, we already allocated $100,000, and we project spending an additional $100,000 that was granted to support our local businesses,” the city manager said.

“So for FEMA, that total is about $403,000, and the CARES Act, we up to about roughly $1.5 million, current and projected,” Wojnowski said.

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