Lubbock County begins developing community application process for $60 million COVID relief funds
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With half of a $60 million allocation from the federal government already in hand, Lubbock County Commissioners on Wednesday began discussing how to spend COVID relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“We do have guidelines from the Treasury Department on what we can spend it on, categories that we can spend it on,” County Judge Curtis Parrish said. “Really, it’s up to the county to decide within those categories how we want to spend this money.”
A little more than a week before this meeting the Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to award $952,285 of the county’s allocation to Open Door Survivor Housing.
“Their survivor housing is funded by the state,” Parrish said. “The state sent them to notice in August that they were cutting their funding by as much as 75 percent. I think they were only getting 23 percent of their funding. We, as the Commissioner’s Court, decided to use ARPA money to make up that difference. That was done as an emergency situation because all of their leases for their apartments and their duplexes were all due October 1. If we did not make this funding, we would have as many as 20 of our survivor housing here in Lubbock back on the street. We did not want that to happen.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jason Corley voted against the action because there had not been meetings over the award process.
“That’s too much money to move forward without a plan,” Corley said. “We’re gonna sit down and discuss and kind of adopt some policies on how we need to go about best utilizing this money for the betterment of Lubbock County citizens.”
After several hours of discussion Wednesday, commissioners set an October 11 deadline to formulate an application process for the community and set funding categories. The following is a list of preliminary projects and funding categories listed at the end of Wednesday’s meeting:
- Revenue loss - $6,744,807
- Buffalo Springs Lake McMillan Dam - $7 million
- Medical Examiner’s Office building - $5 million
- A dialysis center at the Lubbock County Detention Center - $500,000
- A mental health diversion center - $5 million
- Premium pay for Lubbock County employees - $5 million
- Open Door Survivor Housing - $1 million
- Cyber security - $1,385,000
- The arts community - $4 million
- Small business - $5 million
- non profits - $5 million
- Volunteer fire departments - $1,5 million
- Parks - $500,000
- Juvenile Justice Center classrooms - $2.8 million
- Administrative costs - $77,871
“All of those we’re looking at right now as foundational needs, how much we fund those will be determined as those requests are coming in to the Commissioner’s Court,” Parrish said. “We will make that decision then how much to fund.”
Parris expects to finalize funding categories at the October 11 meeting of the Commissioner’s Court. He says applications will be accepted after.
The county has a commitment deadline to the Treasury Department in December of 2024.
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