The state is cracking down on Atwater, which attracted national attention when it declared itself a “sanctuary city” for businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-May.
On Thursday night, the state notified Atwater officials that the city is ineligible for $389,000 in state assistance to deal with the coronavirus.
Atwater’s first Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation of $64,833 will be withheld “until the city rescinds its resolution and complies with state public health orders,” said Brian Ferguson, a deputy director with California’s Office of Emergency Services.
In addition, officials in Coalinga were notified Thursday night that the city won’t receive $216,000 in CRF funding until it complies with state directives. Coalinga’s first allocation is $36,000. The Coalinga City Council passed a resolution declaring all businesses “essential” and therefore not subject to state public health orders in May.