The King County Council on Tuesday afternoon (May 12, 2020) approved $60 million in supplemental funding for continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation provides funding for a variety of programs, including: funding to respond to youth homelessness, relief for small businesses; expanded funding for the Community Development Block Grant; increased capacity for newly added isolation and quarantine facilities; support for the hard-hit tourism and creative sector (arts, culture, heritage, science and music) venues in order to attract visitors back to fill convention and events centers, hotels, restaurants; and more.
Further, the plan includes much needed funding to small chambers of commerce and community-based organizations whose primary mission is to provide marketing and technical assistance to small businesses in King County communities.
“This is a robust spending plan aimed at helping small businesses, organizations and our most vulnerable communities throughout the county weather the storm caused by COVID-19 and put us in a strong position to bounce back once the skies have cleared,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Council Budget Chair. “Ultimately, we need to get people back to work and have all of our ducks in a row for when we can safely approach something close to normalcy. If we can do this, we will be in the best position for ensuring the health and wellbeing of our residents as well as for our economic recovery. This plan helps us get closer to these goals.”
The Council approved $28.2 million in the first COVID-19 emergency funding measure in March, and another round of funding is expected later this month. King County expects all or most of the emergency spending to be reimbursed by state and federal funds.
The table below details how Tuesday’s approved measure allocates the $59.9 million in funding. Additional quotes follow the table.
|Office of Equity and Social Justice||To expand funding for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support ongoing needs of the community||$1,000,000|
|Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget
|Assessments||Laptops and related IT equipment to allow employees to work remotely||$95,000|
|Adult and Juvenile Detention||Two full body security screening systems to minimize physical contact and support social distancing requirements||$410,000|
|Department of Local Services (DLS)||Small Business Relief program to provide grants to small businesses in unincorporated King County and provide technical support and chambers of commerce and community based organizations to partner to provide support to small businesses and translation services to small businesses.||$4,000,000|
|Public Health||Support MOA that would provide 25% premium pay and an additional $4/hour for nights and weekends for public health nurses deployed to Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites||$483,000|
|Housing and Community Development||Increase expenditure authority of $3.3 million for the Community Development Block Grant and $964,006 in Emergency Solution Grant||$4,308,000|
|FMD Operating||Expand operating capacity to support newly added Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites: Bellevue, Renton, and Sea-Tac.
Establish a mitigation fund for local governments to recover costs related to the county’s isolation and quarantine sites, assessment and recovery sites and shelter deintensification sites.
Long Term Leases
|Leasing costs for seven Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites across the county||$5,719,000|
|FMD Capital Building Repair and Replacement||Additional costs for the placement and installation of modular units as Isolation and Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter DeIntensification sites across the county and $150K to install fencing around Maleng Regional Justice Center||$25,199,000|
|Lodging Tax Tourism||Advance of future lodging tax revenues to help stabilize tourism destinations throughout the county by supporting Visit Seattle and Seattle Southside for a tourism campaign||$8,000,000|
|Lodging Tax Homeless Youth Services||Advance of future lodging tax revenues to support DCHS – Housing and Community Development to provide grants to organizations that provide programs and shelters to homeless youth||$1,000,000|
“This budget package marks the start of our work to support the economic recovery of our hardest hit communities, while continuing important public health programming to fight the spread of COVID 19,” said Joe McDermott. “I was proud to have run the amendment that doubled the amount of financial support proposed going specifically to the unincorporated King County business community. This initial investment in chambers of commerce, community organizations and direct grants to small businesses with a strong focus on equity for our neighbors who have been historically disadvantaged is a crucial piece of the puzzle the county can contribute in the broader recovery effort we face as a region, state and country in the months ahead.”