By Hannah Lester
The city of Opelika will receive $500,000 from Gov. Kay Ivey, along with several other counties in the state of Alabama, the governor announced today.
In addition to the city of Opelika, Russell County, Marengo County, Monroe County and Pickens County will all receive funds.
“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,” said a release from the governor’s office.
More grants could be awarded based upon submitted applications, the release said.
“Every corner of Alabama has experienced some negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are bouncing back stronger than ever,” Ivey said. “It is my hope that these funds will help the people in these locations to continue to recover.”
The city of Opelika plans to use the $500,000 for rehabilitation of a senior citizen center and to “purchase equipment to improve social distancing in public buildings.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the funds for specific purposes related to COVID-19 such as testing and vaccinations. IN addition, many people have struggled to pay their bills related to housing, mortages and rent — this funding can help with that. Funding can be used to assist food banks or job creation. Finally, the fundes can be used for overall projects that “provide pandemic relief”.
“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,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “ADECA is pleased to join Governor Ivey in awarding these funds.”