The funds come from a direct costs program created by the Collin County Commissioners Court on Dec. 14, which divides $28.6 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding among the eight municipalities in the county. Cities can choose to apply this funding to COVID-19 expenditures already paid or incurred as well as ongoing costs related to the pandemic before Dec. 31, according to county documentation.
In Plano, the $9.7 million will be applied to the cost of salaries for public safety employees related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as was approved by City Council at a Dec. 17 special meeting held via Zoom. This can include salaries for police officers, city marshals, fire marshals, emergency management, firefighters, emergency medical responders, correctional and detention officers, environmental health officers, and those who directly support such employees, such as dispatchers and supervisory personnel, according to the interlocal agreement.
"Christmas came a little early for us," Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said.
This funding is in addition to the $16 million in CARES Act funding doled out by the county in May this year, city manager Mark Israelson said. These initial funds were used for civil service salaries, small-business grants, the purchase of personal protective equipment and technology, and grants for Plano, Frisco and Lewisville ISDs.
The Dec. 17 item passed unanimously among council members present in the online meeting. Council Members Maria Tu and Rick Grady were not present.