Healdsburg City Hall

The Healdsburg City Council will discuss a proposed approach for the implementation of a community response grants program, which the council allocated $200,000 for, at its meeting on Nov. 1.

The council will also receive a financial forecast report and will consider the timing and protocols for returning to in-person city council meetings.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and will be held via Zoom.


Reports and presentations

Monday’s meeting will kick off with an update from Healdsburg City Manager Jeff Kay regarding local COVID statistics and drought and water supply levels.

The Healdsburg Police Department will also introduce its newest hires, Officer Kristen Dean and Police Social Services Team Member Jeff McGee, both of whom will comprise the department’s new community oriented and equity policing team (CORE).


City funds financial forecast

Andrew Sturmfels, the city’s administrative services director, will provide the council with a financial forecast for the city’s general fund, Measure T fund, community services fund and the internal services fund.

The forecast will be one of several tools that city staff will use moving forward to develop the upcoming two-year budget.

According to the agenda item report, considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is in overall good financial health. The city is close to reaching its reserve targets for the general fund and the community services fund, and increasing tourism is providing substantial support to the local economy via the city’s Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT). TOT is expected to increase as more hotels come online.

“Looking ahead, city council will be faced with several decisions that will impact the long-term fiscal trajectory. The financial forecast will allow the city to simulate the impacts of spending decisions and changes in revenue. During the forecast development process, management partners and city staff identified five issues the city will need to plan for and consider,” states the agenda item report.

These five issues include:

-       Risks to tourism

-       TOT forecast volatility

-       Pension trust

-       Internal service funds support levels

-       New capital facilities


Community response grants program

City staff will also ask the council for direction regarding how to move forward with implementing a community response grants program.

In September, the city council allocated $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for a community response grants program.

Since the funding approval, city staff has worked with nonprofits Healdsburg Forever and the Healthcare Foundation on establishing the parameters of a proposed grant selection and distribution process.

The proposed grant program’s aim is to distribute funds quickly and efficiently and while the grants will not technically be allocated from the city’s ARPA funds, the team chose to use ARPA guidelines to narrow down the field of grant recipients.

Based on those guidelines, the team is proposing to focus the grant funds on the following areas:

      “Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to decrease the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control;

      Support immediate economic stabilizations for households (and businesses); and

      Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations, serving the hardest-hit communities and families.”

City staff recommends a small number of nonprofits, who have been vetted by Healdsburg Forever and the Healthcare Foundation, be invited to apply for the grants.


Considering in-person meetings

With COVID case rates declining and a widely available vaccine, it’s now time for the council to discuss a plan for returning to in-person council meetings with a hybrid model of in-person and Zoom meetings.

City staff is proposing to implement several COVID mitigation measures for in-person meetings, including requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for entry into the council chambers and capacity limitations.

The city manager also intends to limit city staff attendance to only staff members who will be making presentations. Other city staff will participate via Zoom.

To view the agenda or the agenda packet with agenda item reports, visit the city website and click on Nov. 1 agenda/agenda packet.

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