USD will receive $1,569,183 in COVID-19 fiscal relief funding from the state to address impacts to its budget while maintaining 24/7 wastewater collection and treatment operations for its Fremont, Newark, and Union City service area during the health emergency. The funding is made available from a $100 million allocation provided by the State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021-2022 State Budget and will be distributed by Alameda County in early 2022.
“As an essential service to the community, USD is dedicated to providing continuous daily operations with no interruptions and remained so during the pandemic,” said General Manager Paul Eldredge. “Staff worked hard to modify schedules and complete critical work in the safest ways possible. We appreciate this support from the state to alleviate unanticipated costs USD incurred during the health emergency as we strive to keep rates as low as possible for our customers.”
This funding arrives after special districts across California experienced budget and staff impacts as a result of the COVID pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, California’s special districts provided essential services to their local communities, maintained a large portion of the state’s critical infrastructure, and employed thousands of front-line workers, but initially received none of the COVID relief funding available to cities and counties.
“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.”