Aspen City Council Thursday, upon first reading, approved earmarking 6 million dollars for an emergency relief and economic stimulus package to benefit residents, workers and businesses from Aspen to Parachute.
The Aspen Times reports the money will cover everything from rent and mortgage relief for local workers and residents, to child care subsidies, to possible bridge loans or grants to Aspen businesses. It will also cover costs associated with disease testing and personal protective equipment for health care workers.
As proposed, 1.5 million dollars will come from the City’s Housing and Development Fund, 1 million from the Kids’ First Child care fund, both of which have reserves to cover the expenditures.
An additional 3 million dollars will come from the general fund which does not have sufficient reserves. To make up for the shortfall, Aspen City Council is planning to borrow from the Wheeler Opera House fund, which has over 33 million dollars and is funded real estate transfer taxes. The loan will have to be paid back over 10 years at an interest rate between 0.3 and 0.6 percent.