The city of Helena has installed nearly a dozen hand sanitizer stations downtown to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The sanitizer stations are located in public places throughout downtown in areas such as Last Chance Gulch and near parking kiosks. So far, the city has installed 10 stations with plans to distribute an additional 30 stations to downtown businesses. Distribution is expected to take place through next week, said David Knoepke, the city's transportation systems director.
Earlier this month the Helena City Commission greenlighted installation of the stations and also approved the expenditure of $10,000 in Downtown Urban Renewal District tax increment financing to purchase additional sanitizer dispensers.
A TIF district sets aside a portion of tax revenues to be spent on redevelopment projects within the district.
Earlier this year, Mayor Wilmot Collins declared a state of emergency in Helena due to COVID-19. The use of TIF funds for public health and safety is consistent with the intent of the emergency declaration and the district’s recommended work plan, city Community Development Director Sharon Haugen told the commission.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, Lewis and Clark Public Health recommends hand-washing as the primary means of sanitizing hands. If soap and water is not available, the health department recommends using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin
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