The Porterville City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight. On the agenda for discussion during scheduled matters is the provision for local mosquito abatement services.

During the council's meeting on August 18, Mayor Martha Flores requested that the consideration of the provision of local mosquito abatement services be placed on a future agenda for discussion. Since then, city staff has come up with the following information regarding those services.

According to the staff report, put together by city staff for Council consideration, “Within Tulare County, predominantly the western portion of the county is covered by existing abatement districts, including the Delta Vector Control District to the north, the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District centrally, and the Delano Mosquito Abatement District to the south. Generally, the eastern portion of the county from the city of Lindsay to the north to the unincorporated community of Terra Bella to the south is without mosquito abatement services, including the city of Porterville.

Due to the recent emergence of a new type of aggressive mosquito (Aedes Aegypti, also known as the Yellow Fever Mosquito) that is severely impacting the provision of services, the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District has recently reached out to the City of Porterville, as well as the Delta Vector Control District has reached out to the City of Lindsay, in the hopes of again engaging in the potential for annexation of the eastern portions of Tulare County into the existing abatement districts. 

For informational purposes, the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District has estimated that the provision of services to the city of Porterville proper is currently estimated at $250,000 annually, though the cost may likely increase in the future due to the emergence of the mosquito type that is prompting significant increases in request for services.”

City staff is requesting direction from the Council in regards to how to proceed with the provision of mosquito abatement services for the City of Porterville.

Another item up for discussion is the possible award of a forgivable business assistance loan in the amount of  $177,580.22 as requested by Erick Madrigal, the owner of Living Water Clinic. 

In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted the City of Porterville $489,098 in Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG-CV) to be used to Prevent, Prepare for, and Respond to COVID-19,” reads the staff report for Tuesday night’s meeting. “This allocation was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, to respond to the growing effects of this historic public health crisis.

At its meeting on June 2, 2020, the City Council approved an amendment to the FY 2019/20 CDBG Action Plan to include CDBG-CV funds for use for Economic Development. An addendum to the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) specifically for CDBG-CV funds was added to the RLF Guidelines to include a forgivable business loan (BAP-CV) for businesses operating in the City of Porterville; who were affected by COVID-19 to help them Prevent, Prepare for, or Respond to COVID-19.”

Madrigal submitted an application to the city for a CDBG-CV business loan, requesting a loan to be used as working capital for Living Water Clinic. Living Water Clinic has had to change its health care procedures while complying with the social distancing guidelines established by the State of California. Living Water Clinic has requested the BAP-CV loan of $177,580.22 for working capital to assist in chronic care management, telemonitoring, online scheduling/digital patient experience, online digital check in, payment, patient intake, and document retrieval, telemedicine and sanitization of workstations for preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the operational requirements established by the state.

The Community Development Financial Assistance Review Committee suggested the application be discussed and reviewed by the Council. If the loan is approved, Madrigal will need to follow the terms of the loan, or will be required to pay the loan back to the City of Porterville.

This meeting is set for Tuesday night, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting can be viewed on the internet via the City of Porterville's Youtube channel which can be streamed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5KuhSrNMNL9nwHJVtnJvvA 

Any public comments can be submitted electronically to CouncilMeetingComments@ci.porterville.ca.us. All submitted comments will be read aloud during Oral Communications.

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