Manteo exploring COVID-19 relief plan

Published 7:49 am Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Town of Manteo will continue to explore ways to help residents and businesses struggling financially during the COVID-19 crisis. But two initial plans that would have brought some relief were rejected by the Board of Commissioners at their April 15 meeting.

A business loan proposal that would have lent struggling businesses a $500 bridge loan was defeated 3-2 by the board. A separate proposal that would have awarded grants to residents struggling with water bills because of the health crisis was tabled. The plans would have required a transfer of $200,000 from the town’s General Fund.

The plans received mixed response with only tepid support from the community. Commissioners questioned the administration on the plan and the uncertain criteria identifying those in need. Instead, commissioners have asked the town’s manager and staff to draw up options that would allow a more inclusive plan for water and sewer payment relief for both businesses and residents.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The town has already eliminated late fees and suspended disconnections of water service during the crisis. Town manager James Ayers expects to have a plan of options for the Manteo board to discuss at their May 6 meeting. The meeting will likely be held as a social distancing teleconference board meeting with the public allowed to listen in and make comments.