By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the emergency purchase of four 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer made by Cathead Distillery Tuesday night that will be handed out free to local residents on Wednesday.
The total cost for the hand sanitizer $10,480; however, Mayor Robyn Tannehill said the city will be reimbursed 75 percent of the cost by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Each drum costs $2,260.
Cathead Distillery, located in Jackson, stopped production of its vodka when COVID-19 started to hit Mississippi and began hand sanitizer. Cathead owners contacted Tannehill Monday about providing its hand sanitizer to Oxford. The distillery has already provided dozens of drums throughout Jackson.
During her report at Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Tannehill said city employees spent most of Tuesday pouring the hand sanitizer into 12-ounce bottles and adhering labels to the bottles.
“They’ve gone above and beyond,” she said of the city’s employees.
The hand sanitizer will be handed out starting at 9 a.m. At two drive-thru locations – in front of City Hall and at the Jackson Avenue Center, known to some as the “old mall.”
Each car will be given one 12-ounce bottle.
“No one will have to get out of their car,” Tannehill said. “You will drive up and city employees will hand out the bottles and they will be wearing masks and gloves.”
Tannehill said that while she knows 1,000 bottles can’t serve everyone in Oxford, other opportunities to get more may come in the near future.
“We know how scary these times are and how many people need sanitizer and other safety items,” she said. “We also know that we won’t be able to serve everyone (Wednesday) and for that we are sorry. These are difficult times and we are doing our best to address needs as we see them. We hope this is not the last time we will be able to offer free hand sanitizer.”
Tannehill said healthcare providers and businesses who are in need of sanitizer should contact Emergency Management Director Jimmy Allgood at 662-232-8073 who may be able to provide assistance.