Grand Prairie — In the wake of social distancing and other guidelines, the city of Grand Prairie held its first entirely virtual city council meeting as if business were normal.
At its April 21 meeting, the city council heard updates about the status of COVID-19 as well as new developments and projects happening in the city. During his update, deputy city manager Steve Dye, gave some positive news about Grand Prairie’s coronavirus efforts.
“If you look at the comparison cities, which are the larger cities in the Metroplex, Grand Prairie actually has the lowest percentage of infected cases versus our population,” Dye said.
At the time the presentation was made, Grand Prairie had 103 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.
“This is actually very positive news for our city relatively speaking,” Dye said. “This really speaks to our citizens working hard to comply with the orders in both Tarrant and Dallas County. It speaks very well of our elected officials, our staff, our city leadership. As a Grand Prairie community, we’ve done an outstanding job of minimizing the effects of coronavirus in our city.
“I want to commend our citizens. Citizens, you’ve done a great job overall with compliance. We appreciate that. I can tell you it’s a testament to your diligence and taking this seriously when you look at the fact that our infection rate is the lowest of comparable cities in the Metroplex.”
Dye also praised the city’s finance team for placing the city in a comfortable spot going forward.
“You all wisely put $3 million in reserves last year for something exactly like this,” Dye said. “We’re not impacting our citizens more than we have to. We’re still able to provide the same level of services. That’s a testament to the financial decisions that have been historically made in the city.
“Right now we are going to be able to stay on budget for this budget year. That’s quite remarkable, because some cities have already laid off employees and are really struggling on how they are going to pay their bills. We’re not one of those cities.”
Dye also addressed how other cities in the Metroplex, like Colleyville, have started reopening their businesses.
“We need to keep in mind that’s probably not the direction we want to go,” Dye said. “We want to follow the law. We want to follow what our state and specifically our county are guiding us to do.”