Government

County receives CARES Act funds to offset testing, billboard costs

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Montgomery County has received more than $124,000 in CARES Act funds to offset the costs of opening the West Market Street testing site and raising public awareness of COVID-19.

The funding is part of a $20 million state program launched in November to assist with enforcing stricter coronavirus measures and support educational efforts in counties with high spread.

As the number of local cases surged last fall, the Montgomery County Health Department set up public testing sites and launched a billboard campaign to promote wearing masks, handwashing and physical distancing. (The City of Crawfordsville paid the lease for the other public testing site on North Green Street.)

The department will also be reimbursed for employee salaries and training. The Montgomery County Council approved the funding Thursday during a special virtual meeting.

The council also approved $60,000 in state grant funding to establish a peer mentoring program and skills-building course in the Montgomery County Drug Court.

Trained peer recovery coaches or specialists will be assigned to clients for one-on-one support as they work through the program.

The skills-building program seeks to partner with local businesses and agencies to provide free classes on budgeting, meal planning and other life skills.

In other business, the council approved a $107,000 budget for the newly-formed Montgomery County Solid Waste District, which held its first meeting earlier this month.

A date has been set for a joint meeting between the Montgomery County Council, Board of Commissioners, Redevelopment Commission and Regional Sewer District to discuss creating jobs and attracting new housing to the county.

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 8 at Fusion 54.

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