From Anna Huffman – West Columbia Public Information Officer – The City of West Columbia is providing a $50,000 grant to Lexington School District 2 to support efforts helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 with the implementation of a face-covering mandate. Funds can be used for the enforcement and messaging regarding the use of a face-covering. The grant is an initiative of the city’s water and sewer utilities to promote the continued use of its customers’ brick and mortar facilities, to support in-person instruction, and to help reduce the number of employees who have to take time off of work when children have virtual school.
When children are required to quarantine or a school is closed due to widespread COVID-19 transmission, utility revenues fluctuate and a parent or guardian must be present at home with the child. Many of these parents and guardians are working adults, who would now have to take time off to stay home with the child. Parents and guardians are a large part of the City’s workforce, and as such, they are vital to maintaining essential services such as the production and distribution of water, maintenance to water and sewer lines, water/sewer customer service, etc.
Mayor Tem Miles said, “It’s vitally important for us as a city to have our schools open and functioning. We have provided resources to help the school district take the steps they deem necessary to keep our schools open.”
City Administrator Brian Carter stated, “We appreciate Lexington School District Two taking the lead to provide face-to-face instruction. It is beneficial to us all when children are in school and those employees who are working parents can consistently serve our utility service area and citizens. We are proud to support Lexington School District Two with this grant to fund the implementation of policies that keep our children safe and in school.”