City to apply for COVID-19 grant funds

The City and Borough of Wrangell will apply for $125,000 in COVID-19 grant funding from the state Department of Health and Social Services, after the assembly approved the action at a special meeting March 11.

The funding is for "COVID-19 testing and vaccination enhancement," according to the meeting's agenda packet. While the city does not have a specific plan for how to use the funding, it needed to act quickly to get its application in by the March 15 deadline, Borough Manager Lisa Von Bargen said.

There are several ideas for how the grant money could be used. The main goal for the city, Von Bargen said, will be to reach out to special populations or high-risk groups of people within the borough, to make it easier for them to receive vaccinations and COVID-19 tests. This could be achieved by providing transportation for the elderly or visitors at the harbors to testing facilities.

Another use of the funding discussed was providing vaccinations for remote residents, such as people who live at Meyers Chuck. Mayor Steve Prysunka said he wanted the city to keep them in mind, particularly. They may sometimes forget that the people at Meyers Chuck are there, he said, but they are part of the borough.

After a brief discussion, the assembly unanimously voted to apply for the grant funding. Von Bargen said the city administration would come back to the assembly with a specific plan in the near future.


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