On Tuesday night, during their regular meeting, the Porterville City Council held a public hearing in regards to an amendment that was needed to the 2019 annual Action Plan in order to reallocate the use of up to $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CBDG-CV) funding for the Operational Support to Nonprofits program. 

The Council had previously directed city staff to use the CDBG-CV funding for a Business Assistance Program (BAP) to help for-profit and non-profit businesses impacted by COVID-19. As part of the BAP-CV program, the city has received an application from a non-profit organization.

As the city prepared to report the accomplishment in the reporting database known as the Integrated and Disbursement Information System (IDIS), “Non-Profits” was not a category listed under the Economic Development Activity.The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) informed city staff that those applications would be categorized as a “Public Service Activity'' rather than an “Economic Development Activity.” In order to assist those entities a new activity had to be created in IDIS and an amendment to the 2019 Action Plan to reflect that. The creation of the new activity would allow non-profit organizations to be considered for CDBG-CV funding in the amount of $200,000 upon Council’s approval.

Before the public hearing was opened, Councilmember Daniel Penaloza asked how much money was still available in the BAP-CV program and if the city would be allocating the $200,000 while still keeping in mind the businesses that would continue to apply for funds through the BAP-CV program. Jason Ridenour, an associate with the city’s Economic Development Department, explained that the city has spent approximately $600,000 from the BAP-CV funds and that there is still roughly $600,000 in funding still available. Ridenour also said the funds that were in question for the reallocation were for a non-profit that had applied for funding through the BAP-CV program. 

When the public hearing was opened, Brock Neeley suggested nonprofits who were worried about money and are setting up fireworks booths work with the city to receive funding and do away with the booths as a whole. After Neely’s comment, the public hearing was closed.

The discussion went back to the dais and Penaloza asked if the city was expecting another round of funding to support businesses and nonprofits in the future. Ridenour said that there are continued negotiations amongst the government that suggest more funding coming in the future. Penaloza then stated that he was in favor of the reallocation in order to support local nonprofits.

Without much further discussion, Vice Mayor Martha Flores moved for approval of the amendment to the 2019 annual Action Plan and the reallocation of $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CBDG-CV) funding for the Operational Support to Nonprofits program. Councilmember Milt Stowe seconded the motion and the item was approved with a vote of 5-0.

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