The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) announced it has been awarded $1,223,460 in funding from the State of California’s Independent Special District COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will be distributed to LARPD in January, 2022. The funding was made available from a $100 million allocation provided by the State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021-2022 State Budget.
The state’s COVID-19 relief funding arrives after special districts across California experienced budget and staff cuts necessitated by the COVID pandemic.
“Relative to pre-pandemic times, program revenues dropped $5.2 million in the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2021, while the District incurred $0.5 million in incremental costs that were directly related to COVID”, said Business Services Manager Jeffrey Schneider.
“In the earliest stages of the pandemic, staff reductions were, unfortunately, necessary. Still, staff responded to the need to provide critical services, such as childcare for essential workers, and outside fitness, and open space programs provided opportunities for the community when normal program activities were not able to be offered, all within the confines of evolving health and safety protocols”, said LARPD’s General Manager, Mathew Fuzie. “We’ve carefully managed our financials from the outset of the pandemic, but we’re extremely grateful for this support and will explore alternative uses of these funds with the Board of Directors.”
“Special districts are addressing our biggest statewide challenges, all at the local level,” said Neil McCormick, CEO of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). “We applaud Governor Newsom and our Legislature for recognizing this and responding to our requests for partnership. Special districts make a difference throughout California and this funding will make a difference in the communities special districts serve.”
Statewide, more than 2,000 independent special districts serve the needs of all 40 million Californians at some level, and more than 60 percent of these local agencies provide specialized services to a disadvantaged community.