A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Ogden City was seeking new applications for the CARES Act funding. Grant money received by the city will go to businesses and nonprofits that have already been identified by the city. The Standard-Examiner regrets the error.
OGDEN — Ogden City is looking to spend their CARES Act funding before they run up against a looming deadline.
The money comes from the federal government’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which was established with the CARES Act, and is being distributed by the state. Utah received $1.25 billion in CRF funding and is giving the money out to counties and municipalities using a population-based formula.
The city received an initial round of the funding in June and a second in September.
Ogden Comptroller Lisa Stout said the city is set to receive $2.3 million from the state of Utah and another $4.3 million from Weber County. The Ogden City Council is expected to approve a budget amendment later this month, recognizing the influx of cash. The money will be given to businesses and nonprofits already approved for grants. More information on the program can be found at www.ogdencity.com/1763/Ogden-CARES-Business-Grants.
The city has been using the CARES funds it receives to help cover virus-related shortfalls between necessary business expenses and existing funding sources — whether that’s normal business revenue or money local companies received through previous federal or state COVID-19 assistance programs. General economic support grants were also being given during the last round of funding.
Stout said so far, 234 grants worth a total of $9.7 million have been awarded by the city. She said 190 of those grants were given to Ogden small businesses and 44 were given to nonprofits. Stout said the city itself will use an estimated $1.4 million in CARES funds, which is being put toward hazard pay for public safety employees.
According to the U.S. department of labor, hazard pay is income in addition to regular wages given for performing work under hazardous or dangerous conditions. Ogden Fire Chief Mike Mathieu has previously told Ogden’s council that firefighters in Ogden deal with patients who have COVID-19-like symptoms every day. The department, along with the Ogden Police Department, has implemented a series special response procedures since the virus started being reported in Northern Utah.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said there’s a sense of urgency for the city spend the CARES funding. By law, Johnson said, the city has to distribute the money by Dec. 28, at the latest. And he said as of now, it’s unclear whether Ogden will again be eligible for more federal coronavirus relief funding.
“It’s really hard to tell right now, with the political environment,” Johnson said. “If I was a betting man, I’d say yes, there will be more funding. But will the cities get more? I would say that’s still undecided right now.”