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Governor awards COVID-19 community development block grants

Ivey awarded $500,000 each to the city of Opelika and Russell County and $300,000 each to Marengo, Monroe and Pickens counties.

Gov. Kay Ivey held an Coronavirus update Press conference Wednesday, July 29, 2020 in Montgomery, Ala. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

Governor Kay Ivey has awarded nearly $2 million to help several Alabama counties and a city emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and take precautions for future pandemics.

Governor Ivey awarded $500,000 each to the city of Opelika and Russell County and $300,000 each to Marengo, Monroe and Pickens counties. The awards are part of more than $40 million allocated to Alabama under a special Community Development Block Grant program funded from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Governor Ivey has already awarded multiple COVID-related CDBG grants to Alabama cities and counties and will announce additional grants to other Alabama cities and counties as applications are processed. The grant funds are required to be expended on projects relating to the recovery from or preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus or any future infectious diseases.

“Every corner of Alabama has experienced some negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are bouncing back stronger than ever,” Governor Ivey said. “It is my hope that these funds will help the people in these locations to continue to recover.”

City of Opelika will use funds to rehabilitate a senior citizen center and purchase equipment to improve social distancing in public buildings. 

Marengo County will use funds to repair a roof on its business incubator building in Linden and pave a parking lot at Whitfield Regional Hospital in Demopolis. Both buildings can be used for testing and vaccination centers. 

Monroe County will purchase medical equipment to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and any future health-care crisis.

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Pickens County will use funds to construct a climate-controlled building for the county Emergency Management Agency.

Russell County will use funds to purchase a mobile health clinic and equipment to provide health services. Additionally, funds will be used to assist qualified residents with rent payments, utility bills and food. 

The funds were made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and can be used to support COVID-19 testing and vaccinations; rental, mortgage and utility assistance; assistance to food banks and pantries; job creation and business assistance and related projects to provide pandemic relief.  

Alabama counties and entitlement communities receiving the CDBG-COVID funds were required to make an application with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

“Alabama counties have done a tremendous job of assessing their situations and working together for projects that will benefit their residents now and in later years,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Governor Ivey in awarding these funds.”

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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