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Fairbanks City Council votes to give non-profit organization CARES ACT funds

(Courtesy City of Fairbanks)
(Courtesy City of Fairbanks)(City of Fairbanks)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 12:58 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - At Monday night’s Fairbanks City Council meeting, it was determined that a Fairbanks non-profit organization will be getting a substantial amount of CARES Act funds...at least for now. The City Council voted 4-2 in favor of resolution No. 4932 in support of the distribution of CARES Act Funding directly to Explore Fairbanks.

The amount voted on could be up to $749,000. Mayor Jim Matherly, however, indicated his intent to veto. He said his reasoning for a veto would be Explore Fairbanks utilizing an application process that was not made available to the public, and the fear that the city would be liable for the funds if the non-profit did not allocate them properly.

“It would create a new application process that was not advertised to the public. It increases the liability for the city, since the city would have to return funds that are not expended in accordance with Federal guidelines, and it increases the workload of staff who would be required to monitor the activities of the grantee until August of 2021,” said Matherly.

Mayor Matherly has five days to submit his veto in writing if he chooses to do so.

The city council has set a tentative meeting date of August 31 to vote on whether or not to override the veto if it is submitted. On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Matherly sent an official statement saying, “While I support Explore Fairbanks and their efforts for our community, I have several concerns regarding Resolution 4932. One of which being that it has been my goal to offer equal and fair opportunity for distribution to all Fairbanks businesses and non-profits. I have several things to consider and will make my decision on the veto in the following days.”

The nay votes on the ordinance were from Council-members Cleworth and Gibson.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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