League City City Council allocates coronavirus relief funding to public service activities

League City City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. (Courtesy city of League City)

League City City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. (Courtesy city of League City)

More than $250,000 will be made available for League City residents and public service agencies in need of emergency economic assistance due to COVID-19 after City Council unanimously approved a Community Development Block Grant on May 26.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act authorized League City to waive some requirements for normal CDBG funding, eliminating the cap on how much can go to public services. Therefore, 90% of the block grant funds will be allocated to public service activities, according to city documents.

By law, CDBG funds must only be spent on activities that “benefit low- and moderate-income persons, address slum or blight, or meet a particular urgent community development need,” per city documents, and all citizens who receive assistance must reside in League City. The city will receive the funds through direct allocation, Executive Director of Development Services David Hoover said at the council meeting. The money can only be used for expenses directly related to the coronavirus, he said.

The federal CDBG Entitlement Program provides annual grants for various economic development activities, particularly directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, community facilities and services, according to the United States Housing and Urban Development website. As an eligible community, League City directs the CDBG funds for various service projects designed to meet the needs of lower-income persons. Entitlement communities develop their own programs and funding priorities.

Hoover said May 26 that the city has only a few months to figure out how to use then spend the funds, as they must be spent by December. Staff proposed the funds be spent assisting economically disadvantaged residents of League City with rent and utility payments.



The city plans to utilize a waiver with the CDBG funds to allow for a five-day public comment period, city documents show. For the funds to be received, the city is required to approve an action plan amendment outlining how the money will be spent. City documents name CDBG subrecipient Interfaith Caring Ministries as a potential grantee, as the nonprofit anticipates a drastic increase in requests for funding due to the pandemic.

The regular meeting was held in person, at 25% capacity, with livestreaming options available. Staff and council also discussed the recent activities of the emergency turnaround task force, which met virtually several hours ahead of the council meeting.

Task force chair Dave Johnson said the group’s three-pronged focus on businesses, citizens and community is the guiding force for its activities. Johnson has spoken to owners of restaurants who have already taken the task force’s Workforce Protection Pledge, and they report slow business, he said, adding roughly two-thirds of the eateries have not yet resumed dine-in services.

“We’re about building that confidence,” Johnson said.

Council Member Hank Dugie said at the meeting the task force has been “going above and beyond” to try to instill this confidence. At least 60 organizations have taken the protection pledge so far, and the community has been largely very supportive of the initiative, Dugie said.

“Personal responsibility is still the mantra for people,” Mayor Pat Hallisey added in regards to individual owners’ decisions about reopening their businesses. “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will take care of you.”

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

<

MOST RECENT

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass-vaccination site at NRG Park. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live).
Harris County accepting walk-ins for vaccine at NRG Park

As demand for vaccines has fallen, officials are looking for ways to make them more accessible.

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic expands vaccine eligibility to age 16 and older

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family.

(Courtesy Royalty Meat Company)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Royalty Meat Company now open and more

Here is a roundup of business news for Clear Lake and League City.

Costco Business Centers, of which there are only about 15 in the country, carry different products and provide a different shopping experience to members than do traditional Costco Wholesale stores. (Courtesy Costco Wholesale)
Costco Business Center being built in Stafford; see live music in The Woodlands and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the Houston area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Houston City Council approved ordinances expanding and funding Houston’s BCycle program on April 14. (Courtesy Houston BCycle)
Houston City Council OKs expansion of BCycle sites

City Council approved the addition of 11 new BCycle kiosk bike stations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

While face masks will remain a requirement for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, a Clear Creek ISD committee has recommended masks be optional for the 2021-22 school year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD committee recommends making face masks optional next school year

While face masks will remain a requirement for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, a Clear Creek ISD committee has recommended masks be optional for the 2021-22 school year.

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City agrees to land swap with Friendswood

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.