City Council will not spend CARES money on marketing plan

The CARES Act money must be spent by Nov. 30; some funds will be used for safety supplies, medical response items



Councilmember Al Sorenson said he was okay with not using CARES Act money on a marketing plan for Pullman, but that the city needed to prioritize helping businesses. 

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

Pullman City Council unanimously approved the updated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding expenses during its Tuesday virtual meeting. 

The council decided against spending any CARES money on a marketing plan, which was discussed in early September. 

The council also decided to postpone paying off roof repairs at City Hall and instead will allocate most of the $518,400 funding on payroll for city employees, safety supplies, COVID-19 testing and the Small Business Economic Support Grant, according to the updated spending plan from Mike Urban, Pullman director of finance and administrative services. 

Around $70,000 of those funds will pay for safety supplies and payroll, according to the plan. The council will also spend about $12,000 on medical response items, which includes air purifier respirators for the Pullman Fire Department. 

The rest of the money will be split between providing widely available COVID-19 testing and small business grants, according to the plan. 

Councilmember Al Sorensen said he was okay with not using CARES Act money on a marketing plan for Pullman but that the city needed to prioritize helping businesses. 

“We need to start helping them, it’s time,” Sorensen said. 

The city must spend this $518,400 by Nov. 30. 

The council also unanimously approved the 2020-26 Pullman Public Transit development plan. Pullman Transit Manager Wayne Thompson said the plan looks to the future for decisions on bus upgrades as well as changing routes. 

“I believe it must be both justifiable and sustainable,” Thompson said. 

Among many other items, the transit plan describes adding another route as well as adding a third evening and weekend route, according to the transit document presented by Thompson. 

The council unanimously approved the acceptance of a FEMA SAFER grant for the fire department. The grant will pay for the hiring of new officers while reducing the department’s budget by around $550,000 over the next three years, according to the city council agenda.

“We actually became successful, surprisingly,” Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston said.