Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau speaks at a news conference Thursday, flanked by elected officials from various Fresno County cities. Photo by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
Fresno County is allocating $3 million in CARES Act funding to cities to help aid local needs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and city officials gathered at the Fresno County Plaza Building courtyard to announce the $3 million allocation Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously voted in favor of awarding a portion of the county’s CARES Act funds to develop programs specific to the needs of each city in the county.
The 14 cities to receive funding include: Clovis, Coalinga, Firebaugh, Fowler, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Orange Cove, Parlier, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger and Selma.
Each of these cities previously received a portion of $500 million in CARES Act funding from the state. However, cities with a population under 500,000 saw disproportionally smaller benefits than cities with a population over 500,000.
“We put our minds together and came up with an idea, which is taking about $3 million of Fresno’s CARES Act portion and distributing it to the cities. It’s about getting the dollars into play in a way that can help each one of our cities,” said Steve Brandau, vice chairman of the board.
Though there are federal limitations on how the allocation will be used, the funding will come with no strings attached. The city councils of each city will decide how the money will be spent.
Brian Pacheco, District 1 supervisor, said this money would greatly benefit the smaller cities in the area, which were allocated significantly smaller amounts because of their smaller populations.
“Based on the City of Fresno’s allocation, our 14 smaller cities were given less than 1/10 of the amount they should have based on the amount that Fresno received. The state CARES Act allocation for Clovis was less than 2% of the City of Fresno’s allocation from the federal government, but Clovis has 20% of the population,” Pacheco said.
To get appropriate funding for each of the 14 cities, Pacheco said that the best formula for allocation was to combine the Covid-19 cases for each city with the city’s population to determine the funding needed.
The mayors of the cities each spoke briefly to thank the board and to describe what the allocation means to the cities they represent.
The allocations for each city are: