Item 30: Deferment of American Rescue Plan Funding

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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Hold discussion related to deferment of some American Rescue Plan funding to a future date, and provide direction to Staff.
 
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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Staff recommended that the funds already received of $9,050,741 be allocated and the remaining funds to be received next year be allocated then. This will give the City time to recover and see what the continued needs are of the City and the community as we continue to progress through recovery. Since approval at the August 3rd Council meeting, the President of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital contacted Mayor Hughson to discuss the number of COVID patients at the local facility as the need for more staffing and the lack of funds. No funds are coming from the State for this purpose and he has been told by the State to ask the local governments who received funding for assistance. A request is also being sent to Hays County. Mayor Hughson advised that the City’s Coronavirus funding received to date has been allocated and some spent. The purpose of this discussion is to ask if Council would like to direct staff to defer some of the funding Council allocated to next June or other date when the City receives the next allocation of American Rescue Plan dollars. Due to the emergent nature of this situation we have expedited this requested.
 
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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Provided by Mayor Hughson: Please reference the additional information attached (PDF).
 

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JHughson

CoSM Members
Does staff have any recommendations for items allocated/approved by council for the first payment that could be deferred to next summer when we expect the next payment so that nothing gets missed or unpaid when needed?
 

MBaker

Council Member
Can they come present as to what is leading to their predicament ie - Delta strain, low vaccine rates, etc?

Also, what is our sense of what the County might be able to offer them, did they receive a similar $18mil broken up like we did?

Lastly, didn't the State also receive Covid funding from the Federal Government? Why are they being told to come after local dollars when the failures of the Governor are part of their being overwhelmed currently?
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Questions from Council Member Derrick:
-Can staff reach out to Christus to ask what what their "ask" is a number $$?
-How are we to determine how much money it would take to help them and in what respect - i.e. two additional nurses or X amount of "associates" and in what capacity they serve. I have no way to determine an amount that would be helpful without some type of information regarding what would help and what would only be a small drop in the bucket.
-What will happen if they don't receive aid from CoSM and the County? We need to justify this to our citizens and not just throw a number out in my opinion.

Thanks!
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Response to Mayor Hughson, provided by Marie Kalka:
Does staff have any recommendations for items allocated/approved by council for the first payment that could be deferred to next summer when we expect the next payment so that nothing gets missed or unpaid when needed?

After discussion with staff, I would recommend that $500K be reallocated from the following programs and these program funds deferred until the 2nd round of funding.
1067


Response to CM Baker, provided by Marie Kalka:
Can they come present as to what is leading to their predicament ie - Delta strain, low vaccine rates, etc?

Mr. McKinney can discuss what they are experiencing at the hospital in terms of their need, criticalness of their situation of their capacity, oversaturation this has like all other hospitals, staffing and financial constraints caused by the variant. He has been clear he does not want to go beyond that because he is dealing with an urgent issue.

Also, what is our sense of what the County might be able to offer them, did they receive a similar $18mil broken up like we did?
He has made a similar request to the County for about $1 million dollars and waiting to hear back. His ask was based on the proportionate share received in ARP funding.

Lastly, didn't the State also receive Covid funding from the Federal Government? Why are they being told to come after local dollars when the failures of the Governor are part of their being overwhelmed currently? This is a question probably best answered by the State as I do not know how much they received or why they told the hospital to seek local dollars.
This is not a question he can address and best answered by the State. He did indicate early in the pandemic they were able to receive state assistance for ppe equipment, supplies and even state nurses. Right now, that is not the case and has a request for nursing staff. It has not been approved and even if they provide some staff, it will not address his bigger challenge with a large number of vacancies, large reliance on contracted services and premium pay and in large part, the large number of cases.

Response to CM Derrick, provided by Marie Kalka:
-Can staff reach out to Christus to ask what what their "ask" is a number $$?
After discussing with Mr. McKinney the ask at this time is $500K; however, they would certainly welcome any additional funds we could come up with to allocate.
-How are we to determine how much money it would take to help them and in what respect - i.e. two additional nurses or X amount of "associates" and in what capacity they serve. I have no way to determine an amount that would be helpful without some type of information regarding what would help and what would only be a small drop in the bucket.
Because of the oversaturation of cases and lack of available staff, they have had to resort to contracted nursing services at higher pay, ways to keep existing staff, new approaches to recruit and hire in a time of critical staffing shortages, high vacancy rates and as of now, no assistance from the state with nursing staff like earlier in the pandemic. Even if the state were to step up with some resources which could be at least 30 days or more out, it will not solve his issues per all of the above. It is a huge financial drain to the non-profit hospital and becomes an issue of how they can continue to operate financially moving forward. He believes the funding assistance request to both the City and County will greatly assist him.
-What will happen if they don't receive aid from CoSM and the County? We need to justify this to our citizens and not just throw a number out in my opinion.
Mr. McKinney has stated that the hospital greatly needs State assistance. Unfortunately, this sort of relief could take up to a month or longer, and it won't solve all of the issue surrounding staff retention and increasingly high volumes of cases.
 
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