By Lucas Vader
At its Oct. 6 regular meeting, the Delta City Council ultimately decided to allocate CARES Act funding to the Abraham Connection homeless shelter and the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC).
Beyond helping two local nonprofits, the discussion came up because of the small percentage of Delta’s CARES Act funding that had already been used in what is overall a use-it-or-lose-it deal.
“We have about $770,000 that are allocated to the City of Delta,” City Manager Elyse Ackerman-Casselberry said. “We have spent hardly any of it really because the things that we can spend it on are so limited.”
While it has several regulations, mainly that it needs to be correlated with COVID-19, the regulations behind the CARES Act does allow the funding to be used on nonprofits.
The Abraham Connection fits into the requirements because COVID-19 safety regulations are not allowing them to operate above 30% capacity. As the weather gets colder, they are finding themselves in need of providing shelter despite not being allowed to provide that shelter within the walls that they normally would.
Solutions to this issue would potentially be contracting with local hotels and motels for a bank of rooms that can be utilized as needed, facilitated transportation out of Delta to other family and the establishment of an overflow shelter.
The total justifiable amount that the city could contribute to Abraham Connection is $51,183, which they proceeded to approve at the meeting.
DACC, on the other hand, suffered indirect losses from all its members suffering losses. As businesses were impacted by state regulations, DACC subsequently postponed its membership fees. While much of those dues are being paid again, DACC has still been left with a deficit.
“We currently have $14,756.34 in unpaid membership dues,” said Mitchell Gronenthal, executive director of DACC. Additionally, with the members who are still not able to pay, he foresees an approximate additional $10,000 of lost dues by the end of the year.
Also, more directly for the chamber, the organization had to cancel a few regular public events, the Spring Expo and Deltarado Days among the largest.
The events had been advertised, while the cancelation of the events had been advertised as well.
All the events Gronenthal brought up were due to COVID-19 and its ensuing mandates.
With losses in mind as well as important plans for the future that DACC has while being an important part in the Delta community, Casselberry stated that they could justifiably contribute $70,000 to DACC.
“Frankly, that allows them to hit the ground strong next year when they can hopefully do these events,” Casselberry said.
The amount was approved.