Mattawa City Council approves uses for CARES Act monies

by RACHAL PINKERTON
Staff Writer | October 7, 2020 1:00 AM

By RACHAL PINKERTON

Staff Writer

MATTAWA — The Mattawa City Council approved several uses for the money the city is receiving from the CARES Act during their online meeting on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The council voted to give $500 grants to essential small businesses in Mattawa city limits.

“In my opinion, I think this would be another assistance to essential businesses,” said Maggie Celaya, Mattawa council member and chair of the CARES Act subcommittee.

Small businesses have until Thursday, Oct. 22 to apply. Eligibility must be determined before the grants are disbursed. Mattawa businesses wishing to apply should contact city hall for information and an application.

The council approved wages, benefits and professional services of city staff and the city lawyer for purposes related to COVID-19. They also approved items that have already been purchased to be designated as COVID-19 related expenses with CARES Act money. Items that Celaya asked the council to approve were iPads and laptops for city staff and council members to use for city purposes, repairs to city hall’s HVAC system, professional services to facilitate council meetings and to allow council members and the mayor to sign documents remotely, cleaning supplies and equipment, and equipment to allow council meetings to be broadcast via the internet.

Items already purchased but not approved were canopies and tablecloths. Celaya recommended that the items not be approved by council because she claimed they had been purchased without permission from the CARES Act subcommittee. Mattawa Police Chief Joe Harris told the council that the canopies and tablecloths had been discussed in subcommittee meetings several times. He also said that city staff have experienced some confusion on the protocols for purchasing COVID-19 related items.

The council also approved items for purchase by the subcommittee. These included calendars with health information for Mattawa city residents, a daily cleaning of touch points at city hall and FOG cleaning when needed and a Costco business membership and credit card.

The city of Mattawa can designate up to $221,400 for COVID-19 related expenses acquired through Nov. 30. The expenses will be reimbursed to the city.

Rachal Pinkerton can be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.