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Commissioner Unzell Kelley, right, presents funds to Ray Volunteer Fire Department’s treasurer, Donald Traywick, in the amount of $3,000. Photo submitted
Commissioner Unzell Kelley, right, presents $10,906 to Jerry Sewell, chief of Kellyton Volunteer Fire and Rescue. Photo submitted
Rev. Robert Williams with the Community Life Center, Shirley Jennings with the J.D. Thompson Alumni Association and Rev. Stanford Benson with the Morning Star District stand next to the air purifiers purchased for their organizations through COVID-19 funds. Photo submitted
Commissioner Unzell Kelley, center, presents funds to the Community Life Center’s food pantry from COVID-19 funds. Pictured from left are Deacon James Marbury, Coordinator Judy Marbury, Kelley, Rev. Robert Williams, and Mrs. Spradley. Photo submitted
Commissioner Unzell Kelley presents $2,300 to Brittany Hogan, founder and executive director of Empowered to Conquer. Photo submitted
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
To many it may feel like Christmas came early this year for various agencies in District 3 of Coosa County, as Commissioner Unzell Kelley recently presented funds to multiple groups within his district.
Kelley said that the County Commission is striving to ensure that the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, COVID-19 funds are used in the manner they were intended. Those funds were provided to the county by the state to help mitigate COVID-19 and its impact to county residents.
Kelley, along with the rest of the County Commission, previously voted to utilize the funds to help improve Coosa County’s response to COVID-19. Now Kelley has been distributing some of those allocated funds as they become available to disburse.
For District 3, Kelley presented $3,000 to Ray Volunteer Fire Department, which is undergoing reorganization, for the purchase of personal protective equipment, or PPE, to stock up and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He also presented $10,906 to Kellyton Volunteer Fire and Rescue to purchase equipment for cleaning and sanitizing their gear.
In the Cottage Grove community, he presented $4,967.96 for the purchase of air purifiers. Those purifiers were purchased for the J.D. Thompson Alumni Association, Cottage Grove Masonic Lodge 274, the Morning Star District Baptist Association, and Coosa County Community Life Center, all of which are places that host special events and gatherings.
Additionally, Kelley allocated a total of $7,200 for the Community Life Center’s food pantry. He presented that organization with $4,991.55 as the first allocation, with the remainder to be provided at a later date.
Kelley also allocated funds to Empowered to Conquer, a nonprofit organization based in District 3 that helps youth countywide. He presented $2,300 to Brittany Hogan, founder and executive director of the faith-based organization, to assist in the group’s endeavors to help local students fulfill their purposes.
Additionally, Kelley said that an additional $7,500 was allocated toward Community Action to help with energy assistance for low-income individuals and families, with that first fund distribution being for $4,825.97.
Kelley expressed his gratitude for the COVID-19 funds provided by the state and the needed assistance those funds can provide to agencies in the county.