On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act which provides $1.9 trillion in relief as a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The ARP funding includes $64 billion in direct funding for all 19,000 US municipal governments.
The City of Escondido was allocated one-time funding of $38,808,509.
- Received in two tranches of $19.9 million (July 2021 and July 2022)
- Funds may only be used for project costs initiated on or after March 3, 2021
- All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and fully spent by December 31, 2026
- The funds may not be used for reserves, pension liability, deferred maintenance, or other general projects unless they directly address the economic impacts of the public health emergency
The Treasury identified four funding objectives:
- Support COVID-19 response efforts;
- Replace lost public sector (City of Escondido) revenue, support public services, and retain jobs;
- Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses;
- Address systemic public health and economic challenges that contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic.
May 10, 2021, the Treasury announced the program guidelines and eligible categories of expenditures:
- Support public health expenditure
- Address negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic
- Replace lost public sector revenue
- Invest in Water, Sewer, and Broadband infrastructure
On September 29, 2021, at the City Council meeting, the City Council approved (agenda item 12) the acceptance of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in the amount of $38,808,509 and approve the budget adjustment for the appropriation of funds.
Click here to watch the City of Escondido Council Meeting.
Click here to explore the Staff presentation from September 29.2021 Council Meeting.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act signed on March 27, 2020 provided $2.2 trillion in Federal funds to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. Under the CARES Act, the Treasury provided direct funding only to counties and municipalities with populations greater than 500,000. All other funding was provided to states to distribute as they deemed appropriate. Escondido was allocated $1.889,219 from the State and $2,713,486 from the County of San Diego for a total of $4,602,696.
The CARES Act required that the payments from this former stimulus only be used to cover expenses that (1) were necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and (2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved. All funds were required to be expended by September 30, 2020
The CARES Act funds were used by Escondido for payroll costs of personnel and services that were diverted to a substantially different use, such as Community Services staff delivering Senior Meals, as well as the costs incurred for public safety and public health employees who were substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds were also used to purchase personal protective equipment and the supplies needed to support public health and the measures undertaken in response to the emergency.
Economic development and increasing the City's technology capabilities to enhance teleworking and video conferencing availability were a priority for spending the remaining funds. Equipment was purchased to support and improve the teleworking capabilities of staff. In addition, $60,000 was allocated to the Escondido Union School District for wireless hotspot equipment, and $40,000 was allocated to the Escondido Union High School District for the purchase of student electronic devices. To support the City's business community, $1.0 million in grants were awarded to 103 local businesses.
Additionally, the CARES Act also included funds for the Community Development Block Grant ("CDBG-CV") program and for the Emergency Solutions Grant ("ESG-CV") program to "prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic ("COVID-19")." The City received $2,394,882 in CDBG-CV funds and $4,487,427 in ESG-CV fund; a total of $6,882,309.
Activities funded with CDBG-CV or ESG-CV were required to 1) be consistent with a jurisdiction's Consolidated Plan, 2) must assist low- and moderate-income individuals (CDBG-CV) or individuals and families who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness (ESG-CV), and 3) must prevent, prepare for, or respond to COVID-19 (CDBG-CV/ESG-CV).
Through previous amendments to the City's Annual Action Plan, City Council approved the use of the grant funding to support multiple programs within the City including the Senior Nutrition program, Meals on Wheels of San Diego County, the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, for eviction prevention support, rental and utility assistance programs, homelessness prevention and outreach programs, the Rapid Rehousing program, and Emergency Shelter program.