FLORENCE – The city of Florence has received a grant award for maximum funding amount to purchase vital equipment for North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC) to use in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Although I am saddened by the need, I am thankful for the opportunity to assist with providing life-saving medical equipment to North Alabama Medical Center as the necessity for them increases in our area,” said Mayor Andy Betterton.

“NAMC is proud to work alongside the city of Florence, Mayor Betterton, and the city council as we continue a unified fight against the spread of COVID-19 in our community, expressed Russell Pigg, Chief Executive Officer at North Alabama Medical Center. “These grant funds will go toward additional equipment and supplies that will further strengthen our team’s response to COVID-19 and all infectious diseases.”

In March 2021, the State of Alabama made funding available through the Community Development Block Grant funding deriving from the CARES Act to designated Entitlement cities and Non-Entitlement counties. The city of Florence Planning and Community Development office applied for $500,000, the maximum amount available to Entitlement cities.

“Safeguarding the health and safety of our community is a core function of local government and receiving the State of Alabama Community Development Block Grant Special Coronavirus funding to assist in the purchase of critical medical equipment is a tremendous example of the importance of partnerships at every level and in every sector,” emphasized Melissa Bailey, Director of the city of Florence Planning & Community Development Department.

On August 17, 2021, The Florence City Council approved a contract with North Alabama Medical Center to purchase life-saving equipment in the ongoing COVID19 pandemic for $450,000.  The remaining $50,000 retained for administrative oversight by the Florence Planning and Community Development Office. Melissa Bailey explained, “Over the past seventeen months, the city of Florence has been able to secure 1.7 million dollars in competitive grant funding to protect, support, and innovate in meaningful ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been able to help small businesses get back on their feet, ensure non-profit partners receive funding to assist individuals and families, and now assist in providing additional access to life-saving equipment.”