Madison County Commission opens grant for local non-profits using federal COVID funding

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:20 AM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Madison County Commission is starting to put federal COVID funding towards different causes and projects in the area.

Commissioners earmarked a percentage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) budget to go toward 501(c)3 organizations that struggled during the pandemic. Three organizations have applied and been approved so far. The Space and Rocket Center received $1 million, the Botanical Gardens saw $1 million and the Burritt on the Mountain received $250,000.

The application is still open for other non-profits to apply, but it is an intensive process.

“If you’ve lost revenue from tourism that makes it pretty simple,” explains Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver. “If you lost it through business that makes it more challenging. You’ve got to prove that this is not a simple grant where we give you $5 million and you say thank you and walk off. You’re going to have to have some requirements: filling out some paperwork and making sure it’s spent the right way.”

Commissioner Vandiver says they still have a lot of money to possibly allocate to projects across the county like expanding roads, buying new waste equipment or building a new courthouse.

He says it’s hard to choose projects because the rules keep changing.

“I keep going back to, we need to follow the rules and regulations,” says Commissioner Vandiver. “That’s something the federal government keeps changing all the time but we want to make sure it’s done correctly.”

He says they’re still working to figure out how to allocate the rest of the money. He invites non-profits to apply for funding until the application closes on June 30.

Click Here to Subscribe on YouTube: Watch the latest WAFF 48 news, sports & weather videos on our YouTube channel!