The court was updated on its plans forPphases 2 and 3 of distributing aid as the county nears the end of Phase 1, offering $35 million in grant funding to local small businesses to help get them back on their feet.
In its second phase, the county will allocate $30 million to several entities. That money will break down into $5 million to Williamson County, $20 million to the cities, $1 million to the Williamson County and Cities Health District, $500,000 to the Emergency Service Districts and $500,000 to Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, a mental health services organization for children and adults.
An additional $3 million in the Phase 2 bucket remains unallocated to be available in case the county runs short in any of the above areas, County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said.
“These are maximum allocations,” Heselmeyer said. “Actual disbursement is on a reimbursement basis after the respective entities submit their expenses.”
He added that these entities can request reimbursement between now and December; however, the county does not expect all $30 million of this bucket will actually be disbursed.
There is also a second part of Phase 2 dubbed "Phase 2B," in which the county allocated $750,000 to the YMCA. The county is currently working on an agreement for the distribution of those funds, Heselmeyer said.
Lastly, the county allocated $5 million for Phase 3 for community organizations and services that focus on rent and/or mortgage assistance and utility assistance for those who now need such help due to the coronavirus. The total includes about $930,000 in Community Development Block Grant program funds where the federal coronavirus aid funding will make up the difference, Heselmeyer said.
“COVID-19 caused a ripple effect of problems in our community,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey said in a news release. “When businesses were forced to shut down, people were left without jobs and a stable income. As we work to restore and rebuild Williamson County, we also want to help reduce the number of residents that could potentially be evicted and be left without a place to call home as a result of COVID-19. That is why this next phase of funding is crucial.”
Heselmeyer added that Phase 3 is currently just a bucket while the county works out the details. He said it will likely be two to three weeks before the program is finalized, but he plans for the program to start in mid- to late-July.
In April, Williamson County received more than $93 million in federal aid to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
With these programs as well as other expenses the county has made to respond to the coronavirus, about $77.3 million has been earmarked for specific uses. The county still has slightly less than $17.02 million unallocated.