City of San Antonio expects to spend $492M on COVID-19 pandemic

Most of the money would come from federal grants

San Antonio (Illustration by Henry Keller) (Henry Keller, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio expects to spend $492 million over three years in COVID-19-related expenses for response and recovery costs.

City of San Antonio Assistant City Manager Maria Villagomez presented the tally to council members in a budget work session Tuesday afternoon. The expenses include everything from testing costs to the $191 million “recovery & resiliency” plan the city council passed in June.

The City of San Antonio expects to spend $492 million on costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic through FY 2022. (COSA)

The tally does not include the proposed, $154 million sales tax-funded program the city council is considering putting onto the November ballot.

About 76% of the $492 million spending tally - $376 million - would be funded through federal grants. The single largest source of funding comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which provided the city with $270 million through the CARES Act. That money must be spent by Dec. 30.

However, the city will also kick in $97 million out of its general fund.

Villagomez noted in her presentation that the city is able to recover eligible payroll expenses for the San Antonio Fire Department and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District through CARES Act funding.

The sources of the $492 million the city expects to spend on COVID-19-related expenses through FY 2022. (COSA)

Between all funding sources, the city has spent $130 million so far and expects to spend another $191.8 million in August and September alone.

The presentation tallied up $156.3 million expected to be spent in FY 2021 and another $13.9 million in FY 2022.

There’s some of the grants that we have received, specifically for protective equipment for the police department, as well as some of the grants for the health department, and also some emergency services grants that human services has received that allow us to spend it through the end of 2022,” Villagomez said in explanation of why the costs stretch into FY 2022. “Granted, if the need is in the community, we may use those resources prior to that.

The City of San Antonio's spending schedule for the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by funding source (COSA)

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.