Lamar County commissioners on Monday, July 13, approved the purchase for several tent assets to be used in the direct fight against COVID-19 for the county through the CARES ACT grant.
“This is a great purchase for the county,” said Lamar County Emergency Manager Quincy Blount. “These tents can be universally used across multiple departments for any emergency.”
The cost for the full proposal that was presented by Blount came to just over $500,000. Although the cost is considerable, Blount explained that this was a “turn-key” price for all generators, trailers, tents, and other materials/tools required to operate.
Blount presented several “pop-up” tent options to the court in his proposal, including a 100 sq ft tent that can be used to attach to his emergency vehicle for emergency call outs. A 600 sq ft tent, a 400 sq ft tent, a 300 sq ft command tent and trailer system, a decontamination tent, shower tent, and a 70-kilowatt generator trailer.
“Not only does this purchase help the county and other frontline departments for direct COVID-19 response or testing; this also adds to Lamar County for a regional response when needed,” he explained.
Lamar County was awarded just over $1 million for the CARES ACT grant. As part of the stipulation for the use of funds, 75 percent of the spending must be spent on necessary expenditures incurred due to the need in public health emergencies concerning the Coronavirus Disease.
“This is an important investment for the county and one we could not have done if it weren’t for the CARES ACT grant,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronnie Bass.
Bass explained that with a deadline of Dec. 30, 2020, if the county did not use that money allocated, they would have to pay it back. Lamar County Auditor Kayla Hall also backed up what Bass said, and explained that due to requirements on spending, the county needed to spend the 75 percent portion of the funds first before they could access the other 25 percent.
Blount further specified that the portable shelter systems are perfect for the hospital to utilize if needed for a triage and treatment area, or patient overflow, and even a separate treatment area for a specific use.
The order for the emergency system will be placed this week and is expected to have a 10-16 week wait time for delivery.
“Being purchased under the CARES ACT grant, there is no direct cost to the citizens or county for purchase,” said Bass.