Bay City Council extended during a council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10, the emergency declaration for the City of Bay City to Jan. 12, 2021. The council also discussed the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the city’s plan for the funds.
Council President Kathy Baker said the state has extended their emergency declaration to Jan. 2, 2021 and extends it in 60-day increments. She recommended the city extend their emergency declaration to Jan. 12, 2021, which would be the next city council meeting after the first of the year.
The council agreed unanimously to extend the declaration to Jan. 12, 2021.
The council also discussed the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the city’s plan for funds. There had been an initial reimbursement opportunity several months ago. This was for items that has already been procured/expended but not budgeted for. Bay City’s application for that reimbursement was primarily for personal protective equipment (PPE), Mayor David McCall told the Headlight Herald.
“We’ve had various expenses related to [the] coronavirus since we last requested reimbursement,” McCall said in the meeting. “We have been, I feel, very frugal.”
McCall said this is an additional round, which was made available from the state as part of the CARES Act. Cities and counties were eligible for funds based on population. Bay City is eligible for $50,000.
“We registered with DAS for this funding,” McCall said. “We must expend the funds before we can apply for and receive reimbursement.”
In this package, the city would have some PPE and other measures to ensure safety and distancing for employees and the public, McCall added. There would also be some upgrades in technology to enhance communication, including the ability to conduct public meetings, involving the public, through better teleconferencing. The investments in technology also apply to staff and the city’s volunteer firefighters.
“Increased need to safety for our public safety responders is very important, so that is also included, both in training and action,” McCall said.
The council had discussed an office remodel, based on a set of plans that was created before COVID-19 with the intent of improving working conditions within city hall. McCall said COVID-19 has made these changes paramount, so they can protect both the public and staff. The improvements will increase spacing between staff members, add additional space for the public and create space where customers and staff can better interact.
“We will have space for customers and staff to look at plans in a separate conference room, and discuss planning items, rather than having to use the same space used for utility payments,” McCall said. “At this time, we can only accommodate one member of the public in our office at one time, and this would improve those conditions.”
McCall added that the city also has other expenditures that would qualify for reimbursement but that the remodel came to the surface because it is a fairly large expenditure they had not budgeted for.