The Week in Review from Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

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City Manager Grace Leung

NOTE: This Week in Review is provided every Friday by Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community News

This week the City announced a second round of COVID-19 relief grants available to qualified small business owners. Applications will be accepted between August 14 at 9 a.m. and August 28 at 5 p.m.

Earlier this summer, the City awarded $2.1 million in small business grants with federal money from the CARES Act received by the County of Orange and distributed to Newport Beach for small business grants. The latest round of funding, about $470,000, is from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as well as CARES Act funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Applicants are encouraged to participate in one of two informational webinars on the grant program being offered on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, at 11 a.m., and Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 4 p.m. Click here to register for the webinars.

To be eligible to apply for the grants, a business will need to demonstrate the need for financial support that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, being forced to shut down and/or had to lay off employees). Under CDBG requirements, the business must also meet certain low-income criteria for the owner or employees. Click here for a full list of qualifications and application information.

City Business

  • As a reminder: The City Council’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 25. The month of August is generally a quieter period around City Hall and in recent years, the City Council has opted to hold one meeting, instead of two, in that month.
  • Newport Beach has joined the Wyland Foundation in the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation happening this month. Please support water conservation by taking the pledge at www.mywaterpledge.com through August 30.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of August 7 is 902 and the total cases in Orange County is 38,711. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 7 is 28,109.

These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. Please note that the reported cases may be lower because of issues with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic laboratory reporting system. The State is working to resolve the issue.

COVID-19 News and Resources

The State’s “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees, and more. The document, available at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/employer-playbook-for-safe-reopening–en.pdf, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees.

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at (714) 834-2000, or by email at [email protected] County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more.

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call (949) 270-2100 for an appointment.

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state, and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our City staff on Nextdoor.

Playground Refurbishment Project Underway

The 2019-20 Playground Refurbishment Project is underway! The project was awarded to contractor R.E. Schultz to upgrade Bob Henry Park, Mariners Park and Newport Shores Park. At the Bob Henry Park, the contractor will be installing new rubberized flexible play surfaces, new play equipment, new shade structures and refreshing the sand. They will also replace play components at Mariners and Newport Shores Parks. R.E. Schultz is starting at Bob Henry Park and will move on to the other parks as equipment deliveries arrive. Regular work hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, so please exercise caution when driving/walking through construction zones. As a reminder, all playgrounds are currently closed and will reopen when it is safe to do so.

Upcoming Newport Pier Inspection

The City has contracted with an inspection firm to inspect and make repair recommendations for the end platform of the Newport Pier. The contractor will begin work on August 11 and continue for approximately two weeks. The inspections will encompass both the above and underwater pier structural members along with an assessment of the utilities serving the end of the pier. During the underwater inspection portion of the project, fishing may be restricted at the end of the pier for the safety of the divers.

Upcoming FEMA Deadline for Flood Map Elevation/Fill Revisions

Newport Beach property owners seeking FEMA approval for flood map changes based on the addition of soil (fill) to change land elevation or redirect water ways have until August 14, 2020 to submit applications. FEMA has advised the City that it is suspending application processing for Letters of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-Fs) and Conditional Letters of Map Revision based on fill (CLOMR-Fs) in the City of Newport Beach and other communities.

If you are a property owner seeking one of these approvals, please be advised:

  • Applications received after August 14, 2020 will NOT be accepted, and will be suspended without issuing a determination.
  • Applications that were sent before this effective date will be processed and completed provided that the documents have all the necessary information.
  • Requests to reopen already existing LOMR-F and CLOMR-F applications must be received before August 14 (this applies to applications that were closed due to inactivity).

Property owners are asked to direct questions to FEMA’s Julia Gillespie at 510-627-7248 or [email protected]

Homelessness Update

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state.

Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey.

Success Stories:

  • Staff provided a new, donated refrigerator to a recently housed veteran. The man served three tours of duty as an Army Ranger and was honorably discharged. He was living in his car for a year in Newport Beach until City Net staff initiated contact and connected him to veterans services. The refrigerator donation was coordinated by Patriots and Paws and Volunteers for Veterans. The Anaheim-based Patriots and Paws, established in 2011, provides furniture, appliances, and household items for military veterans at no cost. Volunteers for Veterans, established in 1990, provides emergency shelter and crisis management. They also assist with rent, emergency housing and repairs, utilities, food and gas while veterans await their VA benefits.
  • City Net staff placed three people into Project Roomkey and coordinated transportation to the motel. Staff continues to provide them with housing assistance and case management.
  • Two people staying by the Newport Pier were enrolled into City Net services. City Net staff completed Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments, used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing.
  • Six military veterans and their families were housed through the County’s Coordinated Entry System. The Coordinated Entry System manages a roster of eligible veterans and confers with service providers, such as City Net, to match veterans with housing opportunities. The City Net hotline number is (714) 451-6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727-4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call (714) 834-3000.
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