Katy City Council hears CARES Act update, approves water plant contract at Nov. 30 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 11/30/20

In a brief special meeting Monday afternoon, Katy City Council awarded a contract to Tidal Construction Inc. for upgrades to one of the city’s water plants and received an update from Mariga, …

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Katy City Council hears CARES Act update, approves water plant contract at Nov. 30 meeting

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In a brief special meeting Monday afternoon, Katy City Council awarded a contract to Tidal Construction Inc. for upgrades to one of the city’s water plants and received an update from Mariga, PLLC representatives regarding its efforts to claim reimbursement for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today what I wanted to do was really go over the Coronavirus Relief Fund and particularly what we’ve done in terms of working with the city in order to maximize what they’re able to receive in terms of reimbursement for the fund,” said Susanne Mariga with Mariga, PLLC, the city’s consultant that is assisting in monitoring CARES Act funds.

Mariga explained that the CARES Act was a $150 billion relief package passed by Congress to assist with the economic impact of COVID-19 and that Katy had been allocated funding from the three counties it overlaps – Harris, Waller and Fort Bend. Those counties each have reporting requirements and deadlines for reimbursement requests which begin on Dec. 8 for Harris County, Dec. 15 for Waller County and Jan. 15 of next year for Fort Bend County.  

Mariga said the city had submitted its spending plan as required by Waller County Nov. 10 and anticipated turning in the requisite reimbursement claims to all three counties Dec. 8 rather than waiting until the separate deadlines for each county. She also commended city staff for their efforts in tracking expenses, including time spent on COVID-19-related projects, in an organized and detailed manner which made the work easier for the city’s consultants.

“The first final reimbursement request is Harris County and those documrents are required to be submitted by Dec. 8,” Mariga said. “And so, our goal is this – because Harris County is the biggest county – to have all three counties completed by Dec. 8, at the same time.”

She said a training workshop in early November allowed her and her staff to see that the city would be able to file for reimbursement for hours worked related to COVID-19 due to amendments of CARES Act requirements with the three counties.

“So what the amendment allowed for was any expenses that were related to your fire department or police or anyone in public safety that were incurred from Mar. 1 to Dec. 31 – any of those payroll expenses were allowed to be submitted for reimbursement up to the maximum dollar amount that was allotted by the three counties,” Mariga said.

Once the counties have received their respective documentation, they will have two to three weeks to review the information and request supporting documentation, after which appropriate reimbursements should be distributed, Mariga said. The current overall expected combined reimbursements from the counties totals $1,056,880.

The council also approved a contract to upgrade City of Katy Water Plant No. 7 with Tidal Construction, Inc. which had submitted a bid of about $1.08 million. The total project cost with contingencies, engineering and various inspections is estimated at about $1.3 million.

Council also rejected all bids for a planned remodel of Katy City Hall’s third floor. City Attorney Art Pertile III said there was a technical issue with the bids received that made it so it was best to redo the procurement process to ensure that bids could be properly considered.

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