Orem’s Community Development Block Grant coffers have been bolstered this past year from the CARES Act distributions to help with COVID-19.
The CARES Act money should not be confused with Orem’s CARE Tax money it received through sales tax revenues. CARES Act is the federal government’s COVID assistance program.
Of the three distributions of federal money, Orem received funding from two of them, the other went directly to the state.
According Ken Ransom, CDBG committee chair, the first allocation was for $411,983. That was distributed.
“Funds are to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic in our community and to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19,” said Kena Mathews, Community Services manager. “It cannot be used to offset revenue shortfall or for duplication of benefit.”
The special projects, which must be in need of help because of COVID issues including groups like the Family Support and Treatment Center that received $29,859.34, the Orem Senior Friendship Center that received $132,000 and the Boys and Girls Club that received $60,000. In all, 14 organizations received thousands of dollars in COVID help.
The second influx of CARES Act money to Orem was $287,842. So far the projects listed below received a portion of this additional funding:
- Centro Hispano $29,890.84.
- Orem Police Victim Services $24,000.
- Orem Police Mental Health Response Team Homeless Services $5,000.
- Sharon Park $1,650.
- Orem Junior High School $3,300.
- Community Action Services and Food Bank $30,000.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mathews and Ransom will propose some of the remaining COVID monies go to the House of Hope ($15,000) and Community Action Services and Food Bank ($25,000). That will still leave $154,099.16 to be allocated for other projects.
“With the pandemic and community needs, these CARES Act monies have really helped the growing needs of schools and public organizations like the library, Senior Friendship Center and police,” Mathews said.
Following that request, Ransom and Mathews will ask the council to consider allocations for recommended projects with the regular CDBG money the city normally receives on a yearly basis.
Orem received more than usual for 2021-22 with $674,806, according to Mathews.
The council has priorities for the regular grant money, including projects serving Orem residents, first responder support, mental health and domestic violence, Mathews noted.
The council will hold its first of two public hearings on the matter during the council meeting Tuesday.