A vote to allocate additional money for the Enhance Broomfield program is expected to come before Broomfield City Council on Tuesday.
Enhance Broomfield, a program created in 2015 to assist business owners who used the funds to improve their commercial properties, was tweaked earlier this year to assist businesses impacted by coronavirus.
Council could vote to approve $250,000 in additional funding for Enhance Broomfield. It would be done by amending the budget to reflect that amount for additional capital improvement project expenses.
Enhance Broomfield has $51,800 in remaining funds, according to a May 12 Council memo. There are applications pending that have been reviewed and recommended for approval in the approximate amount of $95,000.
To meet current and anticipated requests, Health and Human Services officials recommended Council approve the additional $250,000. With the additional funding, the total approved to date for the modified Enhanced Broomfield program would be $563,500.
Enhance Broomfield had received more than 150 applications as of last week and has awarded $313,500 to 72 businesses, according to the May 12 memo.
Applications for Enhance Broomfield are evaluated by Economic Vitality staff for program guidelines and completeness, then by a review committee, which is made up of finance experts, a local business owner and the directors of the Finance and Economic Vitality departments. The committee then recommends the application, including the amount of the award, to City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman for consideration.
Additional money for the Bridge the Gap mortgage and rent assistance program was expected to be made the same evening, but since then those in charge of the fund have changed course.
“At this point we are not requesting additional money on the 26th for (Bridge the Gap),” Broomfield Health and Human Services Director Dan Casey said Tuesday evening. “We received a grant from the Colorado COVID Relief Fund for $25,000 on May 13. We continue to monitor and reevaluate those funds and may go back to Council at a future date if we determine that additional funds are needed.”
The Bridge the Gap program had received more than 125 applications as of May 12, according to last week’s Council memo. As of Tuesday, 61 residents have received more than $81,000 in assistance, Broomfield spokeswoman Carolyn Romero said.
Gov. Jared Polis, in collaboration with legislative leadership, on Monday announced the allocation of $1.6 billion in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it caused.
CARES Act funds totaling $48 million will be transferred to the State’s Disaster Emergency Fund for medical expenses and public health expenses incurred or expected to be incurred for fiscal year 2019-2020, with $157 million earmarked for FY 2020-21, according to a news release. “This includes amounts expected to be distributed to local public health agencies for COVID-19 response.”
The executive order also authorizes transfers including $500 million to local school districts and $450 million to public institutions of higher education, according to the Denver Post.
On Tuesday, Broomfield reported 214 cases of COVID-19, up from 210 the Tuesday prior, and 23 deaths, up from 19 on May 12. So far 1,732 tests have been administered, according to the city.
City won’t change way deaths reported
On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in a news release explained the way it has been counting deaths among people with COVID-19 and announced an addition to data reporting going forward.
Until Friday, the “data dashboard included deaths among all people who had COVID-19 at the time of death,” according to the release. “This included deaths caused by COVID-19 and deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death, but the cause or causes may not have been attributed to COVID-19 on the death certificate. This is the standard way states report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Going forward, the state will present both numbers: Deaths among COVID-19 cases and deaths due to COVID-19.”
“Broomfield, like all local public health agencies, has been reporting the number of deaths among people with COVID-19,” according to the city’s Tuesday COVID-19 email update. The numbers represent deaths of people who had COVID-19, “but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate,” according to the email.
This information is required by the CDC and is “crucial for public health surveillance, as it provides more information about disease transmission and can help identify risk factors among all deaths across populations,” according to the email. “This also allows for the opportunity to make comparisons across geographies since it is a standardized definition.”
“Moving forward, Broomfield will continue to use the deaths among people with COVID-19 metric as it is the definition used for epidemiological data and is consistent across jurisdictions,” the city stated. “It is also the most readily available and provides a broad population-level picture of how the disease is occurring in the community.”
The way the state had been reporting deaths prior to the change announced Friday came under fire last week, with state Rep. Mark Baisley alleging the state health department falsified the number of people who died from COVID-19.
For local resources and information, visit Broomfieldhealth.org.
For state updates, visit covid19.colorado.gov.
Learn more about Enhance Broomfield at broomfield.org/EnhanceBroomfield.
Learn more about the Bridge the Gap program at broomfield.org/3132/Bridge-The-Gap-Program.