Ketchikan’s borough assembly will meet Monday to discuss how to spend at least $10 million it’s set to receive in federal coronavirus relief funds.
The $10.4 million in federal funds from the CARES Act will come in three installments — the first comes in at $4.8m.
The borough’s finance director recommends spending almost all of that initial payment on economic relief, though many details remain unclear.
The proposal sets aside $3 million for businesses but leaves open the question of how to distribute that money — should the borough spread the money widely with small payments to a large number of businesses, or focus on larger grants for those hit the hardest?
Another million under the proposal would go towards offsetting residents’ utility bills.
A separate $200,000 would be set aside to reimburse businesses and nonprofits for expenses intended to slow the coronavirus’s spread. Think masks, sneeze guards — even extra toys for daycare centers to limit how much kids have to share.
Another $200,000 would go towards food assistance and a program intended to help people “stay in their homes.” It’s not clear if that specifically means rent or mortgage relief or both.
$200,000 would be set aside for local nonprofits, and another $212,000 would go towards administering the assistance programs.
Borough officials also suggest allowing residents to defer half of the property taxes due at the end of September until the end of the following March.
In other business, the assembly will discuss whether to hold a sales tax holiday on the date adopted by Ketchikan’s City Council, July 11. This year’s permanent fund dividend will be disbursed July 1.
These and other questions are up for discussion at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly’s special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the White Cliff Building. It’ll be broadcast live on local cable channels and streamed at the borough’s website. Residents can offer live testimony at the beginning of the meeting or email written comments to email@example.com.