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County hoping for mobile vaccine units with grant

Grant money may buy mobile vaccination units for the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency, if approved. 

The Calhoun County Commission Thursday approved an application for $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant money set aside for COVID-19 response through the federal CARES Act. 

County attorney Gloria Floyd said the grant request, if approved, will equip the county EMA with mobile vaccination units that can be used to reach underserved communities countywide, including those in local municipalities.  

She said the county hoped to set up sites at churches and other public meeting places within small communities. 

“The big issue is observation after the vaccine; they have to be observed for 15 or 20 minutes,” Floyd said after the meeting. “We’re hoping churches will give us that space for observation.” 

Some people in smaller communities may not have transportation to big vaccination events like those in Anniston or Oxford, Floyd explained, and others may have health issues that keep them from even mild travel. 

Local leaders have shifted some attention to those with special conditions, needs or issues. Hobson City mayor Alberta McCrory reported that nearly 200 residents had received their first round of vaccinations this week and last.

Meanwhile, Health Care Authority of Oxford director Tom Dixon told Oxford City Council members earlier this week that the authority had made home visits to about 40 people. 

During its meeting, the County Commission also: 

— Extended a bid from UniFirst, a Massachusetts company, for uniform and floor mat rentals until March 2022 with an option to renew for an additional year. 

— Agreed to pay $2,500 for an actuarial study of other post-employment benefit plans, or OPEB, by Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting. 

— Hired an armed security guard for the County Administration Building through Twin City Security, based in Opelika. 

— Appointed Tim Kaylor to the county Beautification Board, and Rodney McCain to a position as an alternate for commissioners on the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee. 

— Completed a Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license transfer for Sparkle Mart on Bynum Leatherwood Road, from Roshan Business LLC to Yam Business LLC. 

— Entered into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Bynum Leatherwood Road and Old Gadsden Highway, and the resurfacing of Whites Gap Road SE from Alabama 21 to the Jacksonville city limits, and the resurfacing of Whites Gap Road from Cottaquilla Road to Alabama Route 9.

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.