The city of Plano held roughly $4.5 million of its relief funds in reserve to monitor COVID-19-related changes over the summer on the recommendation of City Manager Mark Israelson.
The allocation of a $14,000 grant to Frisco ISD for personal protective equipment and the remaining portion of the $4.5 million to Plano civil service salaries was given the go-ahead at a Sept. 28 city council meeting. Lewisville ISD has also shown a need for additional PPE, and the city expects to provide a grant when the exact amount of need is better known.
“We feel very comfortable with this approach,” Israelson said. “Applying these funds to salaries allows the city to track and audit in a very consistent manner the expenses that the city has incurred.”
This decision exhausts the city’s roughly $16 million in CARES funds it received in May from Collin County. However, the county is still supporting Plano residents and businesses through its small business grant and housing and food assistance programs, Israelson said.
“If there are other expenses that come up for COVID, we would respond to those as we would respond in any other situation with city funds to make sure that we are providing appropriate actions and responses,” Israelson said.
The city initially took a three-tiered approach to allocate the funds, with the direction of $6 million toward City Direct Cost, such as civil service salaries, PPE, and technology; roughly $5 million in small-business grants; and the $4.5 million held in reserve until Sept. 28.
After dispersing close to $1 million of the business grants in Plano, a grant program through Collin County showed to be broader than the program Plano was offering. At that time, the city moved to allocate the other $4 million initially marked for business grants to salaries for those responding to COVID-19 and a $500,000 grant for PISD for custodial cleaning and sneeze guards.