It’s been more than two months since the City of Wharton was notified that it would be allocated funding through the Coronavirus Relief Fund that was enacted as part of the CARES Act.
The Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) on May 11 notified all entities of funding, which included the City of Wharton.
Last week on Tuesday, July 21, City Manager Andres Garza received information from Community Development Director Gwyneth Teves that the disbursement of funds handled through the TDEM would be $474,870.
Teves told Garza that the first 20 percent of the allocation was advanced to Wharton.
A memo from Teves to Garza with the subject line reading Coronavirus Relief Fund Expenditures, read, “the funds are tied to COVID-19 expenditures incurred due to the medical health emergency. The funding is available for reimbursement up to the max amount and for the period of March 1 through December 30.”
Teves showed the Wharton City Council a list of expenditures during a Monday, July 27 regular meeting. It included citywide testing that would be provided by OakBend Medical Center at a cost of $100,000. Elected officials at their last council meeting, unanimously approved to enter into an agreement with OakBend. At the time the list of expenditures was provided during the Monday meeting, the city and OakBend had not formally signed an agreement, although officials had already met before to discuss details about it.
Teves said the following expenditures have been completed or are being requested under the CRF funding allocated to the city during the current state of emergency:
Citywide testing to be provided by OakBend Medical $100,000
Wharton EMS Department:
Laptop for Telework $1,361
Disinfection Lamps for 5 Ambulances $23,784
Portable Handheld Radios (10 ct) $32,734
Video Laryngoscopes (6 ct) $15,526
Power Load System $22,111
4th Ambulance Crew Personnel $52,400
Wharton Police Department:
COVID Response Personnel 12-hour shift (till Dec. 30) $69,062
Or COVID Response Personnel 24-hour shift (till Dec. 30) $138,125
Incode Contactless Permitting/Inspections $2,300
Fire Inspection Contactless Inspections $2,425
iPad (3 ct) for Contactless inspection implementation $2,100
Wharton Volunteer Fire Department:
Portable Handheld Radios (10 ct) $41,738
Human Resources Department:
Contactless Personnel Software $11,000
Masks for Businesses $2,800
Hands free Sanitizing stations and sanitizer for businesses $28,000
Zoom Teleconferencing Software $2,500
Laptops for Telework (2 ct) $2,700
Wharton Civic Center:
Hands free Sanitizing stations and sanitizer $2,500
Approximate funds expended on personnel and response to date $80,000