The federal bill passed to help fund the fight against COVID-19 contained approximately $11 billion for distribution by the U.S. Treasury to the State of Texas.
After passage there were initially question about how rural jurisdictions would benefit since areas with populations of more than 500,000 were getting funds directly from the U.S. Treasury. Thankfully $1.85 billion was set aside by the State for jurisdictions not receiving direct payments.
Archer County, based on $55/per capita, will be granted $470,415. The County Judge and the Mayors in the six municipalities have been working together to identify help needed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The grant money can be used for COVID-19 related expenses outlined on the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) website. TDEM will manage the distribution of funds, review of expenses and reimbursements. Ju
risdictions in Archer County were given 20% of their allotment up front and the balance of the funds will be reimbursed after expenditures are approved by TDEM.
According to the TDEM website, funds can be used for COVID-19 related medical expenses, public health expense, and payroll expenses for public safety and public health, health care, and human services. Another provision, according to County Judge Randy Jackson, allows jurisdictions to share funds with other jurisdictions. Jackson said, “The designated funds will go a long way to helping slow down the spread of the virus. The schools are a major concern. Everyone is working together to make sure the students are safe as they return to school.”
While some of the municipal jurisdictions are still in the planning stages for the use of the money; Archer County, City of Windthorst, City of Holliday and City of Archer City are all working with Windthorst ISD, Holliday ISD, and Archer City ISD to help bolster the back to school efforts. Expenditures have and will include sterilization foggers and chemicals, masks, sanitizers, and disinfecting supplies. The jurisdictions are also making expenditures to be used throughout the community. Churches, parish halls, non-profit entities, parks, and other public facilities will benefit from the grants.