Holladay City spent $1.8 million in federal stimulus moneyFeb 10, 2021 01:47PM ● By Zak Sonntag
Holladay uses aid to maintain operations and help residents. (Photo by Blogging Guide on Unsplash)
By Zak Sonntag | [email protected]
In spring 2020, the City of Holladay received $1.8 million in federal aid. Now the money has been spent. Every dime. Though it’s a drop in the bucket for a nearly-trillion dollar stimulus package known as the CARES Act passed by the U.S. Congress last year, it’s still no small chunk of change, and it’s helped the city mitigate the hardships visited upon local businesses and residents by the unexpected pandemic upheaval.
The city distributed the money across four categories. The lion’s share of the distribution went to Emergency Medical Care, which helped Unified Fire Authority and Unified Police maintain its services in the face of the additional safety measures.
Another share went to pay for increased costs at City Hall, where $100,000 was spent on public health compliance measures, including costs associated with government operations, like plexiglass dividers and a new part-time bailiff. Over $50,000 was spent on new equipment and technology required to maintain continuity of government operations in the new environment and enable city staff to work remotely.
The city was able to get $85,000 into the hands of local businesses, who spent much of the money on Personal Protective Gear (PPE), like hand sanitizer and masks. The last big chunk went toward rental assistance, in which the city partnered with the nonprofit Community Action to help families struggling to pay rent.
The challenge for city leaders now, however, is how to continue to provide support despite uncertainty over more federal aid. The good news is that the aid enabled the city government to stay in the black, and it now plans to use discretionary money from its general fund to continue helping businesses and community members weather the hopefully waning storm of COVID.
City Manager Gina Chamness is working on proposals for local aid in light of a new community business survey detailing the priorities of local businesses in Holladay. Chamness will present potential aid programs to the Holladay City Council for consideration in February.