The Santa Barbara City Council is set to appropriate nearly $11 million of federal pandemic relief funds during its weekly meeting at 2 p.m. today.
The council is scheduled to divvy up $10,918,762 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, with nearly $1.5 million slated to be put into the Downtown Parking Fund.
Priority of the federal funds is given to combat lost revenues so the city can continue to provide vital services, according to a summary of the recommendations made by staff and the Finance Committee.
The next priority was offsetting costs incurred due to changes in business practices, wear and tear on city facilities and efforts to address workforce shortages due to COVID-19.
Santa Barbara was allocated about $21.8 million over two years in rescue funds. The council already approved the first portion of $10.9 million to general revenue in May 2021 to offset lost departmental revenue and tax.
The city is expected to receive the second tranche of $10.9 million in May 2022.
Among other projects, the Finance Committee recommended $650,000 for homeless and mental health services, $300,000 for digital library materials, $750,000 for turf and irrigation in parks that saw high use during the pandemic and $1.25 million for deep cleaning and lighting enhancement work on State Street.
Additionally, the committee recommended $400,000 for renovations to the landmark Plaza del Mar Band Shell and $125,000 for a replacement of the Oak Park dance floor.
Additionally Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council is slated to receive a presentation on the status of the Cruise Ship Program by the Waterfront Department.
The Cruise Ship Program was established in 2002, but cruise ship visits to Santa Barbara have been suspended for the past two years because of COVID, according to the agenda report.
The department said it has 17 cruise ship calls on the schedule for spring 2022, with the first scheduled for March 16, and plans to keep those in place should COVID cases continue on a downward trend.
To stream the meeting online, go to santabarbaraca.gov/cap. To participate in the virtual meeting during public comment, visit santabarbaraca-gov.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BHXU9bk1SWq0ntGHplRq0Q.