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Frio County Pct. 4 Commissioner Jose Asuncion has provided elected officials with a coronavirus relief fund proposal highlighting over a million dollars in available monies.
Asuncion, who spearheads the Frio COVID Lifeline Dashboard online informational site, references a May 11 letter in an email sent to county and city elected officials and administration last week.
“It is as simple as downloading the application, filling in some data, signing it and returning it,” the commissioner said in a Tuesday phone interview.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) allows Frio County and its cities to apply for a $55 per capita allocation from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Pearsall is eligible for $586,000; Dilley for $242,000 and the county $289,000.
According to the commissioner, submission of the application would award the municipalities 20 percent of the eligible funds within five business days.
“They could shift employees who are not doing anything to COVID response,” Asuncion said. “This would save the taxpayers thousands of dollars because payroll can be reimbursed.”
The May 11 letter from the state says once jurisdictions provide documentation on the initial funding, they will be able to access the remainder of their allocations on a reimbursement basis for eligible costs that were incurred during the period that began March 1, 2020 and ends December 2020.
Asuncion is urging the municipalities and county to submit their applications and use some of the monies allocated to help fund the Frio COVID Lifeline.
“The Frio COVID Lifeline is one proposed facet of a response that reaches every Frio resident, incorporated and unincorporated,” the commissioner said.
The lifeline currently offers information through a website, but Asuncion plans to expand the database to offer social media, a telephone hotline, safety checks and educational workshops.
With an expected new and potentially deadly wave of the pandemic expected to hit Texas in October, Asuncion said he is proposing CRF monies be used to fund ten operators to man the COVID hotline. The proposal totals $425,ooo.
Pearsall City Manger Fred Reyes has placed the grant approval application on the agenda for the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, July 14.
Dilley City Administrator Juan Estrada said the city is still gathering documents before submitting an application.