Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded almost $2.9 million to help Walker County and four north Alabama counties recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with $288,200 going to Walker to purchase medical equipment.
No other details were given on how the money was to be used in Walker County, including what entities the money would go to.
The awards to Cullman, DeKalb, Madison, Marshall and Walker counties 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.
Ivey 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.
“Alabamians are eager to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind them and get on with their lives,” Ivey said in a release recently. “I am pleased to award these funds which will accelerate that recovery process and help us return to normal.”
The other grants included the following:
• Cullman County was awarded $803,861 to rehabilitate or construct a multi-use emergency response building that will be centrally located in the county.
• DeKalb County was awarded $500,000 and will use funds to construct two climate-controlled buildings which can be used when necessary for health services.
• Madison County was awarded $700,000 to purchase a mobile health unit and expand front-line services including food distribution and vaccine accessibility.
• Marshall County was awarded $600,000 to expand health-care services, including transportation and increase food distribution to low and moderate-income families and individuals.
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 (ADECA).
“ADECA is pleased to be a part of the process that is helping Alabama recover from the COVID-19 ordeal,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said in a release. “Our Alabama cities and counties displayed tremendous teamwork in deciding what eligible projects best benefitted their communities.”
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.