Several items to seek or accept coronavirus relief funds were approved by Georgetown City Council on April 28.
The city accepted $76,174 in coronavirus relief funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allotted to fire and emergency medical service departments affected by pandemic work.
“Unlike other types of relief or grants, there is no application process,” staff documents said.
The government issued the funds to the city’s EMS revenue management contractor, which forwarded the funds to the city. The city had to formally accept or reject the funds and notify its contractor and the DHHS, the documents said, adding use of funds will be audited, and the city must report on the uses with adequate records.
Estimates of coronavirus-related expenses and revenue shortfalls are ongoing, according to Finance Director Leigh Wallace. As of April 22 the city had spent about $196,000 on coronavirus-related supplies, such as personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitizing supplies and services, and communications with the public. Early estimates of EMS transport revenue losses are $115,000.
“Acceptance of this funding will be used first to offset losses of EMS transport revenue in the general fund due to COVID-19; and second to offset eligible expenditures related to COVID-19,” staff documents said. “If the funding is used to offset expenditures, the city cannot submit a duplicate request for reimbursement of those expenditures to another state or federal agency.”
Council also authorized the submission of a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Texas Department of Emergency Management for public assistance related to the pandemic emergency preparedness and response.
“FEMA will pass the grant funds through TEDM. The city is in the process of setting up the FEMA and TEDM accounts and reconciling expenses before applying for funds,” Wallace said in the documents. “The city may receive up to 75% of reimbursement for eligible costs. A full accounting of eligible costs is still in process as the event is ongoing. The timeline to receive reimbursement is also not known.”
The city will also submit a grant application to the Texas Governor’s Public Safety Office for public assistance related to the pandemic emergency preparedness and response.
The city is in the process of setting up the state grant application account and reconciling expenses before applying for funds for this grant as well, according to Wallace.
She said the level of reimbursement and match is not yet known. A full accounting of eligible costs is still in process as the event is ongoing. The timeline to receive reimbursement is also not known.