Central Peninsula Hospital as seen March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Central Peninsula Hospital as seen March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna approves new round of CARES grants

Money will go to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Central Peninsula Hospital and Freedom House

The City of Soldotna will award $290,704 in CARES Act money to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Central Peninsula Hospital and Freedom House following a city council vote in support on Thursday.

$34,704 will be given to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank to help meet the demand for weekly food distribution, which has been higher than the city originally expected, according to a memo from Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen to the council. The money will be awarded as an increase to a grant previously issued to the food bank by the city.

Central Peninsula Hospital will receive $220,000 for the purchase of ultraviolet disinfection systems. According to the memo, CPH current has two such systems which “have proven effective with final disinfection of areas previously occupied by Covid positive or suspected Covid patients.”

Additional disinfection systems will help keep up with a growing need for disinfection at CPH and will prevent the hospital’s existing two machines from having to be repeatedly moved around, which increases the chance that they will be damaged.

CPH External Affairs Director Bruce Richards said at the Thursday meeting that the hospital will use one of the machines at Heritage Place Skilled Nursing facility, which is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

$36,000 will be given to Freedom House, a registered 501(c)3 in Alaska that provides housing in structured living facilities.

According to Queen’s memo, Freedom House residents may not have been able to apply for some of the city’s COVID-related relief programs, such as the Economic Relief for Residents and the Soldotna Housing Relief. The grant will provide housing stipends for 14 residents and two on-site staff members from April through December of 2020.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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