Fresno · Merced

State yanks coronavirus purse strings for Atwater, Coalinga

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.

Here’s more from Bill McEwen at GVWire.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.