City passes $1M pandemic stimulus

Mayor Clay Koplin. (Sept. 16, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Cordova City Council unanimously approved a $1 million stimulus program at a Wednesday, Sept. 16 meeting. The program will use state relief funding in an attempt to mitigate economic damage resulting from business and public facilities closures, travel restrictions and other measures taken to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I think our community has suffered quite a bit,” Councilman David Glasen said. “I only wish a million bucks went a little farther.”

The stimulus effort will include a “Cordova Cash Card” program, distributing payment cards usable at certain local businesses. A $500 Cordova Cash Card will be issued to each individual who successfully applies to participate in the program, plus an additional $500 card for their spouse or partner, plus a $300 card for each dependent.

Applicants will be required to verify their residency in Cordova to participate. Councilman David Allison quipped that the city would have to make sure its residency verification process was reliable — otherwise, 5,000 Cordova “residents” might end up applying for the program.

Some council members suggested that residents also be required to respond to the U.S. census to be eligible for the program. Cordova’s census response rate has so far lagged both state and national rates, as well as Cordova’s rate in the 2010 census. As of Sept. 16, Cordova’s census self-response rate was 45.3 percent, compared to a national self-response rate of 65.9 percent.