Last night the council met to discuss two significant items. While we didn't take any direct action, we gave direction to staff in a couple areas:
- First we continued our discussion regarding ARPA funds. Our consultants presented on the results of community and business surveys, and various options that were available to us. While there were five categories of spend that were eligible under ARPA, the Council directed staff to focus on two of them - assistance to businesses and direct assistance to households. While the details need to be solidified and ultimately voted on, the direction I suggested and the Council agreed with was for staff to craft a plan with the following general parameters:
For the available funds, these would be split between businesses and households in a 75:25 split. Because we didn't have precise figures around the eligible population in these categories, we asked to target distribution of 50% of our total funds by the end of calendar year 2021. By using tranches, we mitigate the risk of demand exceeding supply. Our total allocation is approximately $2.9M, with an amount reserved for administrative overhead. This means that of that amount, we would target distributing approximately 50% of the remainder by the end of 2021, or $1.25M.
For businesses, eligibility would rely on a few factors - attestation of impact due to COVID-19, possessing a business license in the City of Clayton that has been in place since at least March of 2021, and potentially business tax returns.
For households, eligibility would rely on a few factors - attestation of impact due to COVID-19, household within the city, and household income below 50% of area median income.
We had open questions about the method that the above information would be furnished by potential recipients and how it will be tracked and stored. There was also open questions regarding potential tax treatment of ARPA assistance and if it were advantageous to structure the assistance in any particular way. The above is not final and staff will address these questions and come back with a draft proposal for the Council to approve - hopefully at our next meeting.
- We also discussed the impact of SB9 and SB10 on our city. With the direction that housing law is moving in California, there is less and less discretion that city's retain in this area of the law. I suggested that we direct staff to craft an approach that is the most restrictive and provides the most discretion to the city that is within the law. The Council agreed and staff will come back with a more fleshed out approach that we can officially adopt.