Fairfield County grants garner almost $800K

WINNSBORO – Last December, former County Administrator Jason Taylor hired Shelley Fentress to write grants for the county in hopes that she could bring in revenue for things the county needs. That hire is paying off.

It was announced during Monday night’s county council meeting that the county’s grants department has been awarded two CARES ACT Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) totaling $750,800. The grants are unique in that the county doesn’t have to put up any matching money, Interim County Administrator Brad Caulder told council.

“The grants department is requesting council’s authorization to proceed with procuring the required goods and services for these projects under the county’s emergency procurement provisions,” Caulder said. To comply with the county’s procurement code, Caulder asked that council’s authorization serve as approval for the purchase of goods over $25,000.

All expenditures, he said, will be 100 percent reimbursable from the grant, and these funds are currently available for use.

One of the grants is a Public Service grant in the amount of $336,800. Half ($169,900) will go to Newberry County and half to Fairfield.

Fairfield’s part of the Public Services grant will expand the county’s Meals on Wheels program from five to seven days and provide emergency meals for Fairfield’s senior citizens.

The grants department was also awarded $66,000 for Fairfield Forward to purchase coolers to store fresh fruits and vegetables for the Food Share program that extends throughout the county.

The other grant, the Public Facilities grant, provides $355,000 for the Fairfield County School District to purchase air purification systems for all of its schools. The purification systems attach to the school’s HVAC units and kills COVD, flu and other viruses and bacteria.

“The system allows students, faculty, and staff to stay healthy and in the classroom,” Caulder said. “We will be attaching 900 systems to HVAC units.”

 “Our request for the emergency procurement provisions will only apply to these grants,” Caulder said.

Council voted unanimously to approve the request.

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