Gadsden council votes to accept block grant to assist in COVID-19 fight

Gadsden COVID-19 block grant approved

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - Citizens in Gadsden will soon have help paying their utilities during the COVID-19 shutdown.

In a meeting held by teleconference Tuesday, the council voted to accept a more than $621,000 federal community development block grant.

It's provided by the federal government through the CARES act.

Some $176,000 will go to help low to moderate income citizens pay their electric, gas, water and garbage bills, once they apply.

“We’ll fast track an application form that will allow the citizens to apply. Now, it will be based on your income and family size so you will have to qualify for these funds,” said the city’s community development director, Nick Hall.

Applications are expected to be accepted beginning June 1.

Another $160,000 from that grant will help the fire department buy new equipment to help fight COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Fire Chief Stephen Carroll says that equipment will include a fogging device that can kill coronavirus germs in a room or building where someone with the disease had been, and a device that can detect high fevers in large crowds.

City council president Cynthia Toles says yet another $190,000 will go toward supplies and equipment, and $95,000 will go to assist the city’s homeless population.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.