Denison city leaders cleared the way for non-profit groups to receive federal COVID-19 response funding.
The city council approved a $173,668 amendment to Denison’s Community Block Grant Program Annual Action Plan to include funding for community organizations and their response to the ongoing pandemic.
The funds are a portion of the city’s federal funding for COVID-19 response through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"This money is basically made available to the city to help the overall community with its response to coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic," City Manager Jud Rex said Sept. 8.
In July, the city announced plans to dedicate at least $150,000 toward resident assistance related to the pandemic. The city would do this by working through area non-profits and community groups.
"This is a unique opportunity for the city to partner with our local churches and non-profit organizations to assist Denison residents," Mayor Janet Gott said in July. "There are many local organizations with existing programs in place which we can utilize rather than create a whole new program."
City officials said this change to the CDBG plan is formalizing these arrangements.
These funds will be used in two categories. 90 percent — or $156,302 — will go to providing assistance with organizations that provide education, medical, food deliver or other services.
The remaining 10 percent will go to the administrative costs associated with the program.
Rex did not specify which organizations would be receiving funding or how much they would be receiving. However, Rex noted that Boys and Girls Club of Denison is requesting funds for distance learning technology.
"Really the first action is to allocate it and make it a part of our plan," Rex said.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.