Clallam commissioners may extend agreement on Social Distancing Center use

Deal would allow OlyCAP to continue to run facility

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners will consider next week a three-month agreement with Olympic Community Action Programs for the continued operation of the COVID-19 Social Distancing Center.

No commissioner objected Monday to the not-to-exceed $175,214 personal services agreement with the local nonprofit that has been staffing the temporary facility since it opened in April.

The proposed agreement would be retroactive to Aug. 1 and run through Oct. 31.

The Social Distancing Center in the Port of Port Angeles-owned 1010 building has an isolation area for people with viral symptoms and space for healthy homeless individuals who cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If approved by commissioners next Tuesday, Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP) will provide one full-time shelter manager, one onsite supervisor and up to 13 shelter monitors, county Health and Human Services Deputy Director Kevin LoPiccolo said.

“There has been some issues with OlyCAP, not in terms of their operation, but in terms of staffing, so this particular budget does reflect a high dollar amount of $175,000 that would go through the end of October,” LoPiccolo told commissioners in their Monday work session.

“We don’t get near that dollar amount because it’s never fully staffed.”

The proposed agreement would allow OlyCAP to raise the hourly pay for shelter monitors from $13.50 to $16.04, LoPiccolo said.

OlyCAP recently hired a seventh shelter monitor to staff the facility, which was providing shelter to about 45 as of Monday, LoPiccolo said.

“Once again, I think the overall operation from OlyCAP has been successful there at the Social Distancing Center,” LoPiccolo said.

Clallam County is leasing the 1010 building from the port with a monthly rent of $15,000. Commissioners last month extended the lease to Dec. 31.

The Social Distancing Center was initially funded with a $433,000 homeless-relief grant from the state Department of Commerce, which expired at the end of July.

On Aug. 11, commissioners approved a $425,000 debatable budget emergency for the continued operation of the shelter through the end of this year.

Of that amount, $255,000 will be covered through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the remaining $170,000 will be funded through the county’s general fund, Chief Financial Officer Mark Lane has said.

In other COVID-19-related discussion, commissioners reviewed Monday an $89,900 subrecipient agreement with the city of Port Angeles for CARES Act funding to be used for rent, mortgage and utility assistance.

The proposed agreement is the third and final subrecipient agreement for county-directed CARES Act funding during COVID-19.

Commissioners previously approved a $214,900 agreement with OlyCAP for rental and mortgage assistance and inked a $45,200 pact with the Clallam County Public Utility District for utility assistance.

If approved by the Port Angeles City Council today and county commissioners next week, the $89,900 will be provided to city residents who have incurred a financial hardship due to COVID-19.

“Grant awards for utility assistance will range from $24 to $250, and that will depend upon household size, income and type of residence, whether it’s a house or an apartment/condo,” Lane said in the county work session.

“Those will be distributed by the city of Port Angeles via account credit to the utility account holders. There will also be grant awards available to provide rent or mortgage assistance that will be made to eligible applicants up to a maximum of amount of $300 for apartment or condo or $500 for a family home.”

Port Angeles Finance Director Sarina Carrizosa told county commissioners that the CARES Act funding would be tracked separately from the city’s existing rent and utility assistance programs for COVID-19.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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