City Council members unanimously voted on an interlocal agreement with the county during a June 24 meeting, following a proposal put forth by the mayoral coalition May 18.
The group of mayors, including those of Rollingwood, Lakeway and Bee Cave, sent a letter to Travis County officials in May proposing about $23 million of the county’s COVID-19 relief fund totaling $61.15 million be dispersed to smaller cities.
Travis County obtained the funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, and the request from the mayoral group totaled about $23 million, with a per-capita rate of roughly $175.
Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously at a June 2 meeting to designate $55 per capita to the 21 municipalities that contribute approximately 133,344 individuals to Travis County’s total population—a figure that does not include the city of Austin or unincorporated areas of the county. This amount, which adds up to about $7.3 million, was significantly less than the $174.79 per capita the mayors had urged the county to contribute.
“Large counties in the state of Texas got a hefty amount of money from the federal government for coronavirus relief,” Anthony said. “Some counties decided to disperse some of that money to large cities, but smaller cities were kind of left to fend for themselves.”
Anthony said West Lake Hills submitted its request just prior to the June 23 deadline, and Travis County spokesperson Hector Nieto said that after individual cities approve the interlocal agreement, the next step is to submit a description of planned programs for funding.
Under the current agreement, West Lake Hills could receive an initial payment of around $68,000, or 20% of the total allocation. The city will need to submit a proposal for the use of the funds to Travis County for review, and according to Anthony, this process is underway.
The funding in part may be used for personal protective equipment for the West Lake Hills Police Department, Anthony noted.
Requests for the remaining 80% will be submitted by the city for review on a monthly basis and will be received in the form of reimbursement. Per the terms of the agreement, Travis County may require at least 10 business days to process all proposals.