Group of 16 Travis County mayors signs letter requesting $23M in county COVID-19 relief funds

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)
A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)

From Bee Cave to Manor, city leaders in Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting more than $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funds be released to 21 municipalities as soon as possible.

The funding has been sent as part of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, $61,147,507 of which has been released to Travis County.

The May 18 letter signed by 16 Travis County mayors, including those of Rollingwood, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Plugerville, Cedar Park and Sunset Valley, advocates for a per capita approach to the distribution of the funds.

The original letter assigned a figure of $197.44 for each person living within the 21 municipalities of Travis County, not including Austin.

However, Rollingwood Mayor Michael Dyson said days later that new parameters established by Gov. Greg Abbott put a more accurate per capita figure at $174.79 per person. That amounts to roughly $23.67 million for the total population of 133,334 within the 21 cities, based on 2018 population data, and leaves another $37.88 million for the rest of the county's programs and unincorporated communities, Dyson said.


Dyson and Bee Cave Mayor Kara King expressed concerns regarding their understanding that county officials have hired a third-party firm to help determine how to allocate the CRF funds. Dyson said he believes this would not only add unneeded steps but also unnecessary delays to the allocation process.

King said she feels it would be best to allow each city's officials to be in charge of their allocations and for those allocations to be based on a city's population.

King said she plans to speak to the Travis County Commissioners Court during its June 2 meeting to continue campaigning for the collective solution established by the municipalities.

Dyson emphasized that so far, Biscoe and Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty have been receptive during talks regarding a solution to the funding allocation.

Attempts to reach county officials for comment have so far not been successful.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


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