The city of Rosenberg may have just saved more than $1 million from its $82 million budget for fiscal year 2021, and it’s all thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the Rosenberg City Council workshop meeting, council members agreed to spend $1,001,200 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act.

The city of Rosenberg received $2.1 million of the $134 million in federal CARES Act funds allocated to Fort Bend County.

Payments from the $2.1 million fund can only be used to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

Projects to be funded include the installation of police officer body camera/in-car video systems, amounting to $375,000, the installation of city facility security camera systems. That project is estimated to cost $225,320. Additionally, council members agreed to the purchase and installation of patrol vehicle computers, amounting to $230,000.

According to city staff, the deadline to spend the $2.1 million is Dec. 30.

“What has happened is we’ve been blessed with these COVID funds,” Mayor Bill Benton explained. “We have an opportunity to, instead of spending it our of our general fund, we have an opportunity now to spend it from these COVID funds, which will save the city from the general fund.

According to City Manager John Maresh, the city has gotten approval from the county on these projects.

“I am glad to see this money being put to good use and get us where we need to go to ensure our citizens get the services they deserve without dipping into our general fund,” council member Jacob Balderas said.

Council member Richard Olson agreed, thanking President Donald Trump for the grant money.

“Great job by the staff itemizing what we can use instead of using the general fund,” council member Tim Anders said.

The next regular Rosenberg City Council meeting will be held via Zoom teleconference on Nov. 10, one week after Election Day.

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