Jefferson City alters garbage requirements

Jefferson City residential garbage will no longer be picked up unless it is bagged, tied and placed in a garbage container as a precaution due to the threat of the COVID-19 virus.

Jefferson City residential recycling will only be picked up if it is placed inside the recycling cart. At this time, the pickup schedules will remain the same.

Attorney General files petition to prevent utility disconnections

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed an emergency petition asking the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to prohibit the utilities it regulates from disconnecting service for nonpayment during the State of Emergency invoked by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has caused uncertainty for many Tennesseans,” Lee said. “I urge the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to work quickly to keep citizens connected regardless of payment status during this state of emergency.”

The Tennessee Public Utility Commission has been closely monitoring measures taken by its regulated private investor-owned utilities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while ensuring uninterrupted safe and reliable utility service.

Many utilities have already taken steps including suspension of disconnection for nonpayment, suspending or waiving late fees and offering financial assistance and levelized or budget-billed programs.

Tennessee DHS grants to assist in child care

Much-needed help is coming to child care centers across Tennessee.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is expanding its partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and administering $10 million in grant money to help licensed childcare agencies that were impacted by the recent COVID-19 emergency and the March 2 and 3 tornado disaster.

Licensed child care agencies will be able to apply for assistance with, but not limited to the following expenses:

• Lost income resulting from closing due to the disaster/emergency. Grant awards will be based on the itemized lost operating income for the period of closure.

• Response and recovery operations costs that occur as a result of the disaster/emergency such as cleaning, utility repair, inspections, and substitute staffing. Grant awards will be based on the costs incurred.

• Equipment, materials and supplies that were lost or compromised as a result of the disaster/emergency such as area rugs, soft toys like stuffed animals, books, curriculum, learning tools and displays, damaged cabinets and shelving, supplies, and playground surfacing and equipment.

• Consultants and coaches that are needed specifically related to disaster/emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress, or trauma.

“We are honored to work with TDHS to support our vital child care agencies in Tennessee,” Gina Tek, senior manager of Childcare Tennessee. “This grant provides immediate relief to maintain educator salaries and relieve families of the debt of paying child care fees during this difficult time.”

Child care agencies closed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic can apply for reimbursement of lost income, up to a maximum of 30 days. This will allow agencies to continue to pay staff, preventing layoffs. Agencies would be eligible to apply for reimbursement of lost income upon completing one week of closure and can reapply at designated intervals, as instructed through the CFMT process.

Licensed agencies can apply for the Tornado Relief Grant, COVID-19 Support Grant and General Support and Enhancement Grant on ChildcareTennessee.com. Child care agencies not yet registered on ChildcareTennessee.com will need to register before applying. Child care directors can register now and set up an account for free.

For more information about each of these grants and resources for child care agencies, visit www.cfmt.org/childcaretennessee.