COLUMBUS — Greene County is expected to receive more than $10 million in CARES Act funding after the passage of House Bill 614 last week.
The legislation contains an emergency clause and will go into effect immediately upon Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature, which is scheduled to happen Thursday. The governor is expected to sign the bill, according to spokesperson Dan Tierney.
House Bill 614 appropriates $650 million in CARES Act funding to counties, municipalities and townships to fund COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses, according to a press release from State Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek). This funding is in addition to the $525 million provided earlier this year.
“I was proud to support this legislation to bring necessary funds to the hardworking people of the 73rd House District,” Perales said. “These funds will support local businesses and families make ends meet during the pandemic.”
Funds throughout the 73rd House District, which amount to $10,298,367, will be distributed based on population: Greene County, $6,087,771; City of Beavercreek, $1,720,382; City of Bellbrook, $264,647; City of Centerville, $72; Village of Clifton, $3,568; City of Fairborn, $1,220,747; City of Kettering, $16,612; Village of Yellow Springs, $134,918; Miami Township, $44,684; Beavercreek Township, $222,809; Bath Township, $278,376; Sugarcreek Township, $303,781.
Centerville, Clifton and Kettering, which only partially lay in Greene County, will receive funding for the population that resides within Greene County, relative to the whole county, according to the release. The remainder of their funds will come from other counties in which they reside. In total, Centerville will receive $854,155; Kettering, $1,976,740; and Clifton, $5,298.
According to County Administrator Brandon Huddleson, the distribution will greatly help local government across the county.
“The reductions we have already seen and those on the horizon paint a bleak picture for local service delivery without this money,” Huddleson said. “Cities, villages, townships, and the county will now be able to provide the normal services citizens expect and may be able to consider additional programs to assist individuals and small businesses that continue to struggle during the pandemic.”
Beavercreek City Manager Pete Landrum said since CARES funding is restrictive, the city is still working through the process on the previous two funding amounts, and hasn’t decided on the use of the new funding.
Bellbrook will now be able to make improved responses to the pandemic without dipping into its reserves, according to Melissa Dodd, Bellbrook’s city manager and finance director.
“We have been trying to maximize the funds we have received to be able to best serve our community,” Dodd said. “So far we have purchased necessary items in order to support our staff teleworking, installation of a public Wi-Fi hotspot in our downtown and also a subgrant to our Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Family Resource Center in the amount of $20,000 to assist local families in need. With the guidance continuing to change on a weekly basis, we have been delaying some of the purchases until we feel the guidelines are firm.”
Miami Township Board of Trustees Chair Chris Mucher said thus far, the township has received close to $80,000.
“We have spread the funds around to different areas that we feel would assist township residents through these difficult times caused by the pandemic,” Mucher said. “We have committed about $50,000 to small business and individual assistance specifically to assist in rental/mortgage and utility payments. We also have committed over $8,000 for air purification in our new fire house and administration building. Additionally we will be asking for personnel costs reimbursement for first responders in our Fire/Rescue Department.”
Yellow Springs will continue using funding to directly support residents and businesses, said Brian Housh, council president.
“We’ve done a lot of activity to be proactive around people following safety protocols,” Housh said, reporting that there are currently 32 hand sanitizer stations around town. “We’ve kept those full, but we also started a program where local businesses and nonprofits could bring their containers and fill up on hand sanitizer. Other things that we are looking at that can holistically support our downtown is a wireless mesh concept to blanket the downtown with Wi-Fi. We’ve been able to collaborate with the schools to get internet to some of the students that are in apartment complexes or areas where the connection is not that great. We have also been using CARES Act dollars to retrofit old buildings with air purification systems.”
According to Perales’ office, the legislation also improves Ohio’s unemployment compensation system, which was overwhelmed by the sudden increase in claims filed due to COVID-19. Improvements include the creation of the Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council.
Call these reporters at 937-372-4444.