The city of Half Moon Bay expects to receive $2.4 million from the federal stimulus package.
Since President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on March 11, city staff and council members heard from federal lawmakers that their share will come in two parts: $1.2 million likely before the end of June and $1.2 million thereafter.
Though $350 billion was slated for state and local governments, Half Moon Bay Deputy City Manager Matthew Chidester said little was known about how much each agency would get when the bill was first signed. But clearer guidelines have come out in recent weeks.
“The information is slowly trickling out as the federal government figures it all out,” Chidester said.
As a smaller city, Half Moon Bay faces restrictions. Whereas larger cities will receive a block grant, Half Moon Bay will get its funding from the state. Because of this, the city manager’s office estimates it will receive the funds 90 days later than large cities will, which takes an average of 60 days. The funds should become available in late June or July.
It is not yet known if the funds will be immediately available in city coffers or paid out as reimbursements, a detail that affects when the city will begin implementing its plans to use the funds toward recovery. While Chidester said he’d be surprised if the city had to front any of the money, the city will have enough in its reserve to do so if necessary.
“I think if it was on a reimbursement basis, we’d not just plan how to use it but (time it) really carefully,” Chidester said.
The announcement of the city’s share of the federal stimulus package dovetails into the budget planning process. Even though some of the first $1.2 million may come before the end of the current fiscal year, Chidester said the plan is to treat the two installments as a single amount of $2.4 million that the city will build into its budget for fiscal year 2021-2022.
Now that the funds are guaranteed, all that’s left is for the city to apply. The city is waiting on word from the Department of Treasury that it can do so. When the time comes, Chidester said his office is prepared.