The city of Carrollton is taking extra steps to help residents stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Kevin Falconer updated the council on its Clean Hands Carrollton program in which the city will provide free bottles of hand sanitizer to its residents.
This is an extension to the Safe to Work and Shop program began by the city and the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce to provide business owners with a kit that included things such as face masks, door clings to encourage social distancing and hand sanitizer.
“One of the things that we heard pretty loud and clear from our business owners who were able to get these start-up kits is that the hand sanitizers was a real gift,” Falconer said.
Falconer said because of the success of that program it made sense to find ways to provide more hand sanitizer.
“What we thought might be an interesting thing is to expand this beyond just our businesses and provide hand sanitizer to our residents,” Falconer said. “It’s hard to get that stuff. And I think it’s a crucial part to how we can be safe as we start to get out more and more.”
Falconer said as part of the program the city was able to get 30,000 bottles of hand sanitizer sent to the city to be distributed.
“We’re going to start off with small bottles. That’s what they were able to get to us quickly,” Falconer said. “We’ll see how that goes. I think this is a low-risk opportunity because if our residents don’t seem to need it then we can keep it for a while.”
The city is still determining how it will distribute the bottles.
Falconer also updated the council on the funding opportunities the city has as a result of the federal CARES Act program.
He said cities and counties with a population of over 500,000 received direct funding, otherwise it went to the state. Those counties, after taking out money for their own needs, will then distribute them to the cities in that county.
All three of Carrollton’s counties were direct recipients, and Falconer said each county received approximately $183 per resident.
Falconer said Collin County has started the process of direct allocation to their cities, which he said amounts to approximately $55 per resident. He said Carrollton officials are in conversations with Dallas and Denton counties about similar allocation.
Falconer said money provided by Dallas County won’t include funding for the city of Dallas since the city received direct funding from the CARES Act.
“We’re advocating for direct funding for our use in fighting this crisis,” Falconer said, adding that there is specific criteria on how the money is to be spent.
Falconer said it’s important for the city to communicate to small businesses about various funding programs available, such as grant and rental assistance programs. One example is the Denton County OPEN program, which began Wednesday.