Independence city council plans to allocate $400,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Letters were to be sent to small businesses alerting them to the opportunity. The funds can be used for personal protective equipment (PPE) or to offset costs related to the businesses’ COVID response to stay in business, such as putting up plastic dividers or creating outdoor seating.
The deadline to apply is January 15.
«This is not a lot of money,» said Mayor Chris Reinersman, «but if we can push a business over the hump, if we can keep them afloat a little longer, it will help. I realize we won’t be able to help everybody.»
Council also assigned $60,000 in CARES Act funds to the fire department’s payroll, a necessary move in order to be eligible for the next round of municipal funds to be awarded from the state level, Reinersman explained.
In other business, council listened to the first reading of an ordinance amending the parking ordinance.
Police Chief Tony Lucas talked about the work that went into the drafting of the ordinance. He said that his officers aren’t going out looking for people who are violating the parking ordinance, but he felt that instead of enforcing the state ordinance on campers and boats and flat trailers with lawn mowers that are prevalent in the summer months, he wanted a city ordinance that would give people an out before they had to pay the high prices of a state fine.
Councilwoman Carol Franzen thanked everyone for their prayers for her son, Brad, who started chemo Tuesday for his cancer. She asked that everyone keep the prayers coming.
The mayor thanked Councilman Bill Aseere for his eight years of service on council. Aseere did not seek reelection in 2020.
-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor