Supervisors Give Direction On Spending COVID Relief Funds
Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors spent about three hours today talking about ways to spend about half of the $10.6-million in federal COVID-19 recovery money.
About half of the money is currently available (just over $5-million), and the other half will arrive in May of next year. It all must be spent within three years. The board gave direction to the county staff, and a formal vote on the matter will come at the August 13 meeting. The board collectively agreed they are interested in allocating $1-million to the Tuolumne County Fire Department for equipment needs, $500,000 for local non-profits and $500,000 for a local economic development RAD Card program. Money is also likely to go towards code enforcement/cleanup, a space needs study for county buildings, a capital improvement plan, IT related upgrades and employee workplace improvements. In all, it would cost around $3-million. The list is still subject to change.
During public comment, well over a dozen people came out to argue for additional public safety funding. They cited the recent increase in crime and the difficulty of keeping deputies in the county at the current pay scale. The Supervisors agreed to set aside the remaining $2-million currently available ahead of labor negotiations, and indicated that some of the money could be used to increase funding for things like public safety. Those details will be hashed out during upcoming closed sessions. Changes would then have to be approved at a future open session.