League City City Council reverses course, votes to give Galveston County CARES Act money

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

League City City Council on July 21 reversed a vote made July 14, resulting in League City agreeing to give up to 18% of its CARES Act funding to Galveston County for COVID-19 funding.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act provides $55 per capita to local governments to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. For counties with fewer than 500,000 residents, such as Galveston County, the money is given to each city rather than to the county itself.

As such, Galveston County requested each city provide 18% of its CARES Act funding to the Galveston County Health District to continue nasal swab and antibody testing. League City received $5.73 million in CARES Act funding, and the county's request equaled about $1.03 million.

On July 14, the council voted 6-2 against the motion to give the county the money, citing several concerns. Council Member Nick Long said the move would be inequitable to League City residents because most of the money would fund testing for residents other than those residing in League City, and several council members said they had questions for the county that county officials had not yet answered.

On July 21, county officials showed up to answer members questions. Precinct 1 Commissioner Darrell Apffel apologized for not answering questions earlier.

Apffel said the county used its own money to hire epidemiologists and contact tracers at the start of the pandemic and was reimbursed through CARES Act funding. The remaining $2 million in CARES Act funding the county received went entirely to testing, Apffel said.

Now, as testing has begun to ramp up and the pandemic shows no signs of slowing, the county needs more money, he said.

“Quite frankly, we need your money,” he said. “We are in this together.”

Apffel answered members’ questions, saying Galveston County would invoice League City monthly for portions of the up to $1.03 million in CARES Act funding League City would provide. It is possible League City would not have to pay the full $1.03 million if the pandemic ended before the money was spent, he said.

Additionally, the money will go to fund tests for uninsured League City residents only, Apffel said.

“I believe that this is so important that we do this as a community,” he said.

The motion to approve giving Galveston County the money passed 7-1. Council Member Todd Kinsey was the sole dissenting vote.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Galveston County up nearly 300% since late October

A total of 14,465 county residents have tested positive for the coronavirus since mid-March; of the total cases, 89% are considered to have recovered.A total of 14,465 county residents have tested positive for the coronavirus since mid-March; of the total cases, 89% are considered to have recovered.

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

Adelaide's sells items from local brands whenever possible, such as kits from The Heights-based My Drink Bomb. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Adelaide's Boutique stores strive to be ‘first-stop’ shops for gifts

The Adelaide’s Boutique locations—14870 Space Center Blvd., Houston, and 6011 W. Main St., League City—are meant to serve as customers’ destinations for clothes, shoes, accessories, gifts and other boutique items, many of which are locally sourced.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

"Remember, we don't want to invite COVID-19 to the dinner table," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a Nov. 23 press conference urging caution amid rising COVID-19 positivity rates. (Screenshot via ABC13)
Mayor Sylvester Turner urges caution heading into Thanksgiving holiday

Houston officials also said 333 health providers had been identified as future vaccine delivery sites.

With remote learning opportunities becoming increasingly prevalent, CCISD is reviewing its flexible learning options—such as Cyber Cafe and the Clear Connections program—and examining current TEA guidelines to determine if changes are needed to any of these programs and policies. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD updates: District adding new 2021-22 secondary courses, improving educational experiences

Five new secondary courses will be offered next school year; some courses will replace those previously offered, and some will be new courses altogether.

New guidance from the Texas Education Agency allows districts to require virtual learners who are failing classes or who have three or more unexcused absences to return to school in person. (Courtesy Canva)
Clear Creek ISD imposes grades-based restrictions on virtual learning

Although the Texas Education Agency allows schools to use attendance as a reason for mandating in-person learning with some students, CCISD officials chose to only focus on those who are academically struggling.

protestor in crowd with who police the police sign
New report: Houston police oversight board lagging behind major Texas cities

The report suggested having no oversight board has a better effect on public trust than having a dysfunctional board.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.