Ingham County approves $2.3 million for COVID-19 programs

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The Ingham County Human Services Committee amended its master agreement with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services during its March 15 meeting, authorizing a $2.3 million increase in grant funding to create new COVID-19 programs.

The authorization, along with 19 other resolutions, passed by unanimous vote and without discussion as part of a consent agenda, meaning the proposals were grouped together and voted on as if they were one item.

The new funding will go toward programs for mobile testing, immunization and preparation.

The committee approved an agreement with Granicus, a business specializing in government digital communications, to help the Ingham County Health Department keep in contact with people who register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The committee also renewed and expanded the health department’s agreement with Edge Partnership, a Lansing-based marketing firm, to work on flu prevention and COVID vaccine campaigns from now until July.

Per other agreements, the health department will continue providing psychiatric services to inmates at Ingham County Jail, allow students enrolled in Ingham County School District’s Medical Assistant Training program to work at the county’s community health centers and receive a $10,000 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation to purchase dental supplies and safety equipment for Forest Community Health Center.

The department will also receive nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offset operating costs incurred by the pandemic.

Before and after photos of the dock at Lake Lansing Park South.

The committee approved several contracts and applications for state grants proposed by the Ingham County Parks Department. The improvements undertaken from both contracted work and grant money are part of the county’s five-year plan for general park improvements. 

Proposed projects include solar-powered cabins at Burchfield Park, new docks at Hawk Island County Park and various universally accessible spaces and attractions, such as new kayak and canoe launches.

Timothy Morgan, county parks director, said improvement ideas come from park staff and are reviewed by the public. They typically focus on either repairing old infrastructure or making accessibility improvements to park facilities. Funding and the urgency of repairs, he said, determine what projects are undertaken.

Grant money would be supported or matched by the county’s trails and parks millage. Morgan said pairing grant and millage money helps the county more efficiently use its funds.

The parks department recently received an award from the Michigan Recreation and Park Association for renovations and accessibility improvements made to the Lake Lansing Park South dock.

Only one item was pulled from the consent agenda vote for discussion: a resolution to extend an agreement with St. Vincent Catholic Charities to provide translation and supportive case management services for refugees at community health centers. The resolution passed 6-1, with commissioner Ryan Sebolt voting no. Sebolt disclosed during the meeting that he had a relative who works for the charity.

A resolution that allowed the Ingham County Department of Veterans Affairs to hire M3 Marketing Group to help the department with social media, outreach and engagement was removed from the agenda prior to the meeting.