San Diego County

County Approves $339M Stimulus Package, Includes $25M for Cities

San Diego County received $334 million in federal funds and the city of San Diego directly received $248.5 million, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors divided up Tuesday its $334 million federal stimulus package, along with an extra $5 million, to support small businesses, cities, child welfare, COVID-19 testing and more.

The county received $334 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but then they had to decide how and where to use it.

Proposed by Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Dianne Jacob, the approved allocation grants $175 million for the county's COVID-19 response, $100 million for its testing, tracing and treating program, and $25 million to individual cities for COVID-19 expenses -- excluding the city of San Diego because it received money directly.

In addition, the supervisors approved $17 million in economic stimuli for restaurants and small businesses, $15 million for behavioral health services, and $2 million for Child Welfare Services to expand outreach and support for at-risk families.

About $5 million from the fund was already set aside to help fund childcare for essential workers.

"Instead of a one-off whack-a-mole of every small thing that comes up. Let's get some funding in some buckets that are directed to the areas of greatest need," Fletcher said before the vote.

Local leaders are trying to figure out how to spend the large sums of money sent to San Diego County as part of the CARES Act, reports NBC 7 political reporter Danny Freeman.

An alternative proposal from Supervisors Greg Cox and Kristin Gaspar wanted $50 million of that $334 million to be divided between all the cities for their COVID-19 response efforts, except San Diego.

That was in contrast to Fletcher and Jacob's $20 million for cities. Supervisor Cox's office said the two proposals were not competing and they were all working together.

The money could be used by the cities for things like law enforcement, economic support initiatives, sanitation compliance. But, it could not be used for revenue loss.

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said he was shocked when he learned his city was not getting any direct federal help.

"It's been logistically hard as well as really expensive," he said. "Like a tsunami, an economic tsunami as well as a public health tsunami."

Many governments are reporting decreased tax revenue, putting projects on hold, furloughing workers, and spending more and more on resources.

The Imperial Beach mayor said his city could get anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million from the county to help sanitation infrastructure, public safety and public health -- all critical areas during the pandemic.

California as a whole received $15.321 billion in funds. San Diego County received $334 million and the city of San Diego directly received $248.45 million, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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