Stack of cash

Rowlett City Manager Brian Funderburk provided the City Council with an update on the city’s COVID-19 response efforts during Tuesday night’s work session.

Gov. Greg Abbott adopted GA23 on May 18, which amends his previous order. This essentially allows Texas businesses to open at 25 percent capacity. It includes personal services such as barbershops and salons. On Friday, restaurants will be allowed to increase to 50 percent capacity.

“Currently, dine-in restaurants can be at 25 percent. Movie theaters are allowed to open at the same, shopping malls, libraries, even swimming pools, manufacturing services, gyms and exercising facilities, and even more recently, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barbershops, those personal services providers are also allowed to open,” City Manager Brian Funderburk said.

On Monday, the governor announced some changes to that, and effective Friday, bars will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity. Additionally, bowling alleys, bingo halls and skating rinks may open, and the restaurant capacity has increased to 50 percent.

Effective May 31, day and overnight youth camps, youth sports and professional sports organizations will also be able to open.

“We also anticipate that summer camps, both faith-based as well as Boy’s Club, YMCAs, all of those will be allowed to open starting May 31,” Funderburk said.

He reported that Abbott announced on May 11 that local governments under 500,000 population would be eligible to receive funds through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).

The state received $11.24 billion in the allocation of the CARES Act for local government, and about $5.1 billion of that went to six cities and 12 counties with populations over 500,000.

“They are making $1.85 billion available to cities and counties below 500,000. Rowlett will receive a separate allocation from Dallas and Rockwall counties,” Funderburk said.

“We will receive $439,000 – that is coming from the population of Rowlett in Rockwall County, and we will receive 20 percent of that upfront and the rest of that will come on a reimbursement basis, and then Dallas County announced that they will be sharing those funds as well,” he continued. “There’s still some question about the population numbers to be used. Essentially that in of itself will be over $3 million.”

Funderburk said Rowlett should be able to get from the state and through Dallas County about $3.8 million.  

“We’re able to use that to help our residents and businesses,” he said.

Funderburk said the city can also consider these funds for programs such as rent, mortgage and utilities assistance; helping businesses with business interruption costs, and the cities and counties can keep some of those funds as well, to cover the cost of public safety and personal protective equipment.

The council will discuss this more during a special meeting at 1 p.m. Friday.

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