The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial strain on municipalities who never budgeted for the many safety precautions necessary to keep running.
Luckily for the city of Brunswick, federal Community Development Block Grants specifically created to help local governments deal with the health crisis are available.
The city has been announced as a recipient of more than $148,000 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to Mary Carpenter, a spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, the funding will be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic.
“Public services include those for people experiencing homelessness or elderly people, and services related to employment, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse, education, fair housing counseling, and energy conservation,” she said. “Previous tranches of funding have been used to partner with non-profits to provide homeless services, increase PPE availability, increase testing, and make available food assistance for low- or moderate- income children.”
Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey said the funding will also help pay for personal protection equipment for public safety responders and sanitizing equipment for staff and the public.
“We had to do a lot of changes because of the pandemic,” Harvey said. “We had to do a lot of teleworking because we had a lot of people out at the beginning (of the health crisis).”
While it’s been costly dealing with a pandemic that nobody anticipated, Harvey said the CARES Act funding has been a big help.
“I think we’re going to be all right,” he said. “We have really streamlined our services.”