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During the regular city council meeting held on Thursday, councilmembers considered the city’s 2022 annual budget, and made plans to raise the property tax rate.

Marshall Community and Economic Development Director Fabio Angell announced the city’s receipt of the third round of COVID-19 funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program during the last city meeting.

The city received $234,000 in funds that they have utilized to expand the city’s COVID-19 grant program to now benefit public service organizations.

“This is our third round of COVID-19 funding that we will use to invest in our community, which is where it counts the most,” said Angell.

This comes as the city celebrates the approval of 48 applications to the current Small Business Grant program, which was created with the second round of COVID-19 funds. That program has already distributed over $138,000 to local small businesses as part of a compensatory grant program that offers relief for businesses who were required to purchase an array of new protection equipment and other tools during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The small business grant program is still ongoing, with funds left for about seven applications to be approved at the maximum grant amount of $2,500 before funds are depleted.

“Then we will just close the small business grant fund for good,” Angell said.

The new program, created by the third round of funding, offers relief to a new set of Marshall groups: public service organizations. The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 30 by 4 p.m.

Applications will be reviewed by the CDBG Division, part of the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development, for eligibility and completion.

Funding will be made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for use during the current year 2021, however funds must be spent by Dec. 22, 2022.

Eligible service requirements include:

  • “Rent and utility assistance” for those affected financially by COVID. Funds will be repaid directly to landlord or utility company directly or through a non-profit.
  • Prescription assistance for COVID-related medications. Funds will be paid directly to the provider or through a non-profit.
  • Small businesses to retrofit properties or cover lost income and wages due to COVID.
  • To retrofit or construct a public space or space a non-profit owns for testing, diagnosis, vaccinating or treating COVID following HIPPA guidelines of confidentiality (screens or rooms behind which the patients go, waiting area, etc.) or for COVID and in preparation of next pandemic (as long as the area stays ready and not used for other things in the meantime).
  • Projects that support broadband access (always-on high speed internet connection) for elderly and low income people, as well as those working at home or schooling at home due to COVID or to increase resilience to natural hazards like COVID and environmental disasters.
  • Providing funds to non-profits and for-profits to install wiring, fiber optic cables, and permanently affixed equipment such as receivers for areas without adequate broadband access and that are low- or moderate-income (LMI) areas.
  • Part of the emergency payments like “rent and utility assistance” (cited above) can include internet service for households for up to six consecutive months, including any months that are past due.
  • Wiring or wireless infrastructure in LMI owner-occupied homes, rental units in public housing or other housing designated for low-income (Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties) or non-profit buildings owned by the non-profit.
  • Laptops and hotspots for use by LMI children to access virtual classes provided by schools (not home-schoolers, but those enrolled in school but having to go remotely), if under $5,000.
  • For new businesses or business expansions that create jobs for the manufacture of PPEs, medical supplies, etc. to respond to infectious diseases.
  • To establish, stabilize and expand microenterprises to provide medical, food delivery, cleaning and other services to support home health care for those in quarantine.
  • For job training to expand number of health care workers and technicians.
  • For Federally Qualified Health Clinics in Marshall or other health clinics for low-income persons, including county city/health department for infectious disease prevention, treatment.

The application can be found online on the City of Marshall’s website, www.marshalltexas.net, on the Community Development Block Grant subpage located under the “Departments” tab. Applications will also be made available at the Community and Economic Development Office, 401 S. Alamo Blvd., during business hours.

“We hope we can get a list of applicants so that we may invest these funds back into our community,” Shameia Ruffins, Community Development Coordinator, said.

For more information, please contact the CDBG Division at (903) 935-4453.

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