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FLORENCE — Pinal County has received a federal grant to provide more than $14 million in emergency rental assistance this calendar year to households earning less than 80% of median income.

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to accept the grant from the U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday. The grant can provide assistance for up to 12 months, including some arrears and some utility assistance, and must be spent by Dec. 31, Pinal County Grants Administrator Heather Patel told the board.

Income limits would be approximately $45,000 for a household of one or “the low 50s” for a household of two, Patel said. Priority will be given to those who earn 50% of median income and the unemployed, but awards will generally be first-come first-served, Patel told the board.

All county residents — in unincorporated areas as well as in the cities and towns — may apply. County staff hope the program will be open for applications by March 1. The county also has an existing federal Community Development Block Grant program for mortgage assistance, Patel said.

In other action Wednesday, the board approved:

  • An agreement between Pinal County and Florence Unified School District for two grant-funded school resource officers. Sheriff’s deputies will fill these positions and a third position will be filled by a counselor. The Sheriff’s Office will absorb the cost of the deputies if the grant ends, Chief Deputy Matt Thomas told the board.

The officers will work at Mountain Vista Academy and Skyline Ranch K-8 in San Tan Valley and Magma Ranch K-8 near Florence, the school board was told late last year.

  • Additional staffing and budget increases in the Pinal County Treasurer’s Office to provide services at the county’s new satellite locations. The current county budget will be increased $198,875 for one-time and ongoing expenditures, and will reduce to $175,400 in future fiscal years.
  • Raising the maximum height of structures for covered RV parking from 14 feet to 16 feet at Gold Canyon Self Storage on U.S. 60.
  • Two new grant-funded victim services case manager positions in the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.
  • A letter of resignation from Copper Corridor Justice of the Peace Nancy Discher.

Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at