Virus relief spending reviewed


As of mid-September, the city of Norton has spent or committed $215,000 of federal CARES Act virus relief funding for a variety of needs, City Manager Fred Ramey told city council Sept. 15.

Much of the money was shared with other organizations, he said: $25,000 to city schools, $25,000 to the rescue squad, $35,000 to Family Crisis Support Services and $15,000 to the Wise County Food Bank.

Also, the city had spent or committed $65,000 for building modifications necessary to operate under pandemic health and safety requirements, according to Ramey. Another $25,000 would go to installation of wi-fi hotspots serving the parks at 11th Street, Locust Avenue, Ramsey, Clear Creek and Pine Hills.

Ramey said the city is looking at possible additional assistance to the rescue squad through a partnership with Wise County. Specifically, the idea is purchase of an ambulance with an airflow filtration system and other upgrades “to handle infectious disease cases as well as normal emergency response,” he explained in an email. This would involve a $180,000 county investment, with $120,000 coming from Norton. This is part of a larger county initiative to assist rescue squads serving within the county and city, Ramey explained.

Going forward, he told council, he expects additional CARES Act-funded spending on disinfection/sanitation, personal protective equipment, building changes to meet labor standard requirements, further assistance for city businesses, technology to support city government telework and other governmental operations.