Terry Eubank (left) and Paul Ostrander address the Kenai City Council during a budget work session on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Terry Eubank (left) and Paul Ostrander address the Kenai City Council during a budget work session on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai passes measure to accept federal relief money

The funds were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA — a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package.

The Kenai City Council approved legislation during their Wednesday night meeting that will allow the City of Kenai to accept new federal COVID-19 relief funds.

The funds were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA — a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March that, among other things, includes $350 billion in funding for state and local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a memo to the Kenai City Council, Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank wrote that latest estimates suggest the city will receive about $1.9 million over two payments of about $942,000. The City of Kenai is considered a Non-Entitlement Unit, Eubank wrote, which means that the amount of money the city will receive will be based on population, with the total dollar amount not allowed to be greater than 75% of Kenai’s most recently adopted budget.

ARPA funds are in addition to money states and municipalities received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that former President Donald Trump signed into law in March of last year.

Through the CARES Act, the City of Kenai received just over $10 million, including $7.7 million from the state and about $2.7 million from the borough. The city put those funds toward three rounds of business grants, grants for commercial fishers and housing assistance programs, among others.

While the resolution approved by the council on Wednesday authorizes the acceptance of funds, the council will also need to pass an ordinance appropriating the funds once the city receives an official grant offer from the state, according to Eubanks’ memo.

More information on how the City of Kenai has spent federal COVID relief funds can be found on the city’s website at kenai.city.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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