The Chehalis City Council approved the allocation of their $125,000 of available funding for the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team (CCRT) and Lewis County Seniors.
Five total organizations applied for funding, requesting a total of $331,709.51 of an available $125,000. The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce requested $75,000, received $37,500; the CCRT requested $75,000 and received $50,000; Lewis County Seniors requested $125,000 and received $37,500. The Salvation Army requested $29,209.51 and United Way requested $27,500 for the Lewis County High-Speed Education Network — neither organization was approved for funding.
The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce plans to use the funds to continue providing personal protective equipment to local businesses.
The CCRT plans to continue providing small business loans to businesses in Chehalis.
Lewis County Seniors’ application says they will be using the funds to continue delivering meals to senior citizens. Their application stated that the demand for senior meals has increased by 500 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are two requests that the committee recommends not be funded — not that they’re not good programs or valuable — it’s just that they didn’t meet the strict requirements of this particular program,” said City Manager Jill Anderson.
The Salvation Army’s submitted application said they would use the funding to purchase a commercial capacity washer and dryer. Anderson said that the proposal didn’t meet the specific requirements for how the CARES Act funds should be spent.
Anderson said that United Way of Lewis County’s proposal to put the money toward the Lewis County High-Speed Education Network with the goal of connecting disadvantaged students to internet access was not specific enough.
The CARES Program Review Committee includes Mayor Pro-tem Chad Taylor, Councilor Daryl Lund and Councilor Isaac Pope. The committee met on Oct. 8 to review applications from the five organizations to see if they meet the federal requirements and were a good use of funds. Pope was unable to attend due to an “unexpected situation.”