Council Approves Local Economic Stimulus Program

A large stimulus program was approved Tuesday night at the first ever virtual meeting of the Redding City Council. Meetings have been available online for some time now, but this was the first meeting where the public was barred from the chambers and comments were accepted only by mail or email. Only Mayor Adam McElvain and Councilwoman Kristen Schreder were actually in the chamber, while the other three members participated via video conferencing. Seven different items were approved that will provide economic relief to Redding residents across a wide variety of programs including a $200 electric utility rebate which is in addition to the $50 rebate previously issued. The council also approved a deferral of the transient occupancy tax, amortization of any late utility bills, a refund of deposits, and a $300 payment to all low income cares recipients. The council also will use grant funding to give relief to small businesses which may not qualify for the Federal SBA Program. By far the most ambitious spending will be $9.5 Million to local contractors who will be able to bid on solar and led lighting upgrades at city hall and the fire stations. City Manager Barry Tippin says the energy savings from that are estimated at $350,000, which can be used for additional projects. The council had previously approved a suspension of late fees associated with business licenses and the electric utility, and will not shut off electricity during the pandemic.

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