The Morganton City Council approved a measure during its Monday night meeting to award CDBG-CV CARES Act COVID-19 grant funds to five local non-profits to help local residents and businesses recover from the economic impact caused by the pandemic.

A total of $47,500 out of an available $87,803 was awarded during Monday night’s City Council meeting. These funds will help local non-profits assist populations in the City of Morganton that have been adversely affected by the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. 

“We are very pleased to be able to award these funds to some of our local nonprofits,” said City Manager Sally Sandy. “We know this money will go a long way in helping those who need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The City of Morganton solicited grant requests from local non-profits for the CARES Act funds on June 16. The City received five applications by the deadline of June 30. After being reviewed by the CDBG committee, the funds were awarded to the selected non-profits.

The grant awards were as follows:

  • The Meeting Place received $10,000 to provide direct assistance to shelters that have been affected by COVID-19.
  • The House of Refuge Ministries Emergency Shelter for homeless men received $5,000 to offset unexpected expenses due to COVID-19.
  • Burke United Christian Ministries received $5,000 for its Utility Assistance Program to assist with paying past-due utility bills for residents, up to $750 per household for low to moderate income families in Morganton.
  • Burke County United Way received $12,500 for its Utility Assistance Program to assist businesses with paying past-due utility bills, up to $1,000 per business for low to moderate income business owners, or businesses that employ a majority of low to moderate income people.
  • The Outreach Center received $5,000 for its Utility Assistance Program to assist residents with paying past-due utility bills, up to $750 per household for low to moderate income families in Morganton. The Outreach Center received an additional $10,000 to offset unexpected expenses due to COVID-19.

Non-profits were able to apply for funding to help with direct expenses that were incurred due to the onset of COVID-19, and they could apply for funding for their respective Utility Assistance Programs. Many customers have fallen behind in utility payments to the City of Morganton due to the economic burden placed on Americans by the COVID-19 crisis, and this funding will enable local non-profits to help low to moderate income individuals and businesses catch up on utility payments.  The customers receiving aid from the non-profit must be City of Morganton utility customers.

The CDBG-CV CARES Act COVID-19 grant funding was made available to the City of Morganton by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In order for individuals and businesses to be eligible to receive utility assistance through the local non-profits, they must meet requirements laid out by HUD. The unpaid utility bills must have been issued between March 31 and August 31, 2020.

There is still $40,303 in CDBG-CV CARES Act COVID-19 grant funds available that were not awarded in this round of disbursements. The City will put out a call for another round of applications for grant funding in September.

Representatives from local non-profits attended the Aug. 3, 2020, Morganton City Council meeting to receive the CDBG-CV CARES Act COVID-19 grant funds awarded to their respective non-profits. From left, Wade Ogle, with House of Refuge Ministries; Councilmember Chris Hawkins; Maureen Schwind, with The United Way of Burke County; Holly Johnson, with The Outreach Center; Councilmember Butch McSwain; Alison Azbell, with The Meeting Place Mission; Councilmember Chris Jernigan; and Alice Horton, with Burke United Christian Ministries.

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