Federal grants help ease the cost of COVID-19 in WF

thanks to federal and state grants Wichita Falls has not spent one dollar from the reserve funds on covid-19

Federal grants ease cost of COVID for city of WF

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - COVID-19 has been stressful and costly for everyone but even though more than $7 million has been spent, some like the city of Wichita Falls have fared better than most.

The staff in the city’s finance department said thanks to federal and state grants the city is in the green and not one dollar from the city reserve funds has been needed to be spent due to COVID-19.

“In response to COVID, the city of Wichita Falls has received eligibility for approximately $14.5 million in federal grant funding from multiple federal organizations,” said Jessica Williams, Director of Finance for the city of Wichita Falls.

That $14.5 million is from these 11 grants, that includes the CARES and the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Act.

So far, the city has used $7.5 million that qualifies under the grants reimbursement funds.

“That money has been spent on personal protective equipment, contact tracing at the health department and related health department supplies, supplies for the vaccine clinics the payroll expenses,” said Williams.

Staff in the city’s finance department say while the city has money set aside for emergencies, those funds remain untouched.

“The change in guidance on the COVID CARES funds at the end of September 2020 which allowed the city to retrospectively ask for additional federal assistance and reimbursements for police officers salaries as those PD patrol officers worked during the pandemic,” said Williams.

The city of Wichita falls isn’t the only one getting help after losing more than $4 million in revenue; the Community Healthcare Center also got a much needed financial boost.

“We got a tremendous amount of federal support, about $2.2 million and then we had a lot of private donations, about $2 million dollars worth,” said Allen Patterson, CEO of the Community Healthcare Center.

While Community Healthcare Center staff say they are in a good place financially now, their main priority has always been their patients.

“We are not hoarding any of this money, we’re literally dumping it back into the community as quick as we can to get as many people taken care of and keep them healthy for as long as we can,” said Patterson.

While these are the latest numbers, the city of Wichita Falls could see more grants. In fact, the the Community Healthcare Center was recently awarded another federal grant for $7 million; that money will be used over the course of the next two years.

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