San Marcos City Council members discuss projects for COVID-19 response funding, seek community input

The public comment period for the drafted action plan to allocate CDBG-CV funds will be from June 7-13. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
The public comment period for the drafted action plan to allocate CDBG-CV funds will be from June 7-13. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)

The public comment period for the drafted action plan to allocate CDBG-CV funds will be from June 7-13. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of San Marcos received four applications from for-profit businesses, nonprofits and city departments to obtain funding from the Community Development Block Grant for Coronavirus Response.

With $425,261 in CDBG-CV funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city must create an action plan allocating funds to help prevent and prepare for the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the four applicants seeking funding from the CDBG-CV grant, San Marcos City Council members gave direction to staff to move forward with three projects at a June 2 meeting.

The COVID-19 Small Business Recovery program submitted by the San Marcos Economic Development department, the Main Street Program and the chamber of commerce, was one of the programs approved by City Council. The applicants requested $200,000 in funding to aid local businesses affected by COVID-19 through:

  • technical assistance and employee retention;

  • grants of up to $5,000 to redesign physical space to ensure safety and social distancing, sanitation training, personal protective equipment, and digital redesign for social distancing including contactless payment methods and online ordering; and

  • the capacity to assist 32 local small businesses and microenterprises.

The second project supported by City Council was submitted by Court Appointed Special Advocates. The nonprofit requested $55,600 to help fund the expansion of its services to an additional 30 children who experience abuse and neglect. If awarded with CDBG-CV funds, CASA would expand services by:

  • hiring a case supervisor, team leader and purchasing technology;

  • recruiting and training volunteer caseworkers to advocate for children removed from their homes; and

  • advocating for mental health, medical education, housing and permanency in safe homes.

The COVID-19 Collection Station was the third project supported by the council. The project was submitted by Texas State University, and it would create a portable collection station for COVID-19 in partnership with Katerra—a California-based manufacturing firm. The university requested $105,530 in funding from the CDBG-CV grant to create:

  • a portable COVID-19 sample-collecting station and staffing from September 2020-May 2021;

  • a prototype and then conversion to a working flexible-use health station; and

  • two part-time positions at $18 an hour.

In addition, $64,131 would be allocated for the city administration to provide technical assistance to the funded programs, ensure the appropriate use of documents and funds, and monitor and report the progress to the HUD.

The public comment period for the drafted action plan will be from June 7-13. San Marcos City Council members will vote to approve the action plan June 16 at their regular meeting.

By Evelin Garcia
Evelin Garcia covers local government, education, business and development as the reporter of Community Impact Newspaper's San Marcos/Buda/Kyle edition. Evelin is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in international studies.


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