Tarrant County approves $35.5 million for pandemic recovery

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The Tarrant County Commissioners Court has approved $35.5 million in funding to improve public health and wellness, revitalize the economy, and strengthen the community from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The money, which will be directed to 35 separate projects, will come from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Funds program.

With funding approved, officials will begin contract discussions with the organization that have been selected for funding. Staff will submit each contract to the commissioners court for final approval. The funding approved by commissioners Tuesday (July 26) will leverage an additional $25 million in matching funds.

Counywide organizations tapped for project awards ranging from $210,000 to $4.8 million include United Way of Tarrant County ($5.5 million for four different projects), Tarrant Area Food Bank ($4.8 million) and the Presbyterian Night Shelter ($1.38 million). Also included are smaller organizations such as Arlington Charities, Inc. ($242,000), Sixty & Better ($570,700), and Community Enrichment Center ($814,980).

“I am proud of the process we’ve used to approach spending these federal funds in Tarrant County,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said in a news release. “By initiating a countywide needs assessment, followed by issue-specific roundtables with community leaders, we have been comprehensive, inclusive, and strategic at every step. I believe we are setting the example for other counties about how to maximize these once-in-a-lifetime funds.”

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On April 12, the Commissioners Court approved a call for proposals that are consistent with the county’s focus areas and goals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From that call, a total of 131 applications were submitted by 95 organizations, totaling $208 million in requested funds.

An evaluation committee made up of two administrative staff, one audit staff, one budget staff, and one representative from each commissioners court member reviewed and scored each proposal for program readiness and alignment with the County’s COVID-19 Needs Assessment findings. Proposals were also scored on a number of socio-economic indicators, availability of matching funds, and project readiness.

Here is a complete list of projects receiving funds.