FAIRBORN — Fairborn will use its expected $1.2 million in the third disbursement of CARES Act funds to continue supporting first responders, as well as explore future programs to directly support citizens and businesses.
The funds are anticipated to come following the Ohio legislature’s passage of House Bill 614 last week. The bill allocates $650 million in CARES Act funding to counties, municipalities and townships. According to a press release by Representative Rick Perales, the 73rd House District will receive $10.6 million. Gov. Mike DeWine is scheduled to sign the bill today, Thursday.
Previous disbursements of CARES Act funding totaled roughly $1.5 million to the City of Fairborn. In that time, the city has used the money for purchase of PPE, disinfecting supplies, as well as enhanced protective equipment for firefighters.
Money also went toward the salary and benefits of firefighters, as first responders working during a pandemic.
In terms of disinfecting government buildings, Fairborn chose to keep operations in-house, as opposed to contracting with a third-party service.
“We’ve been looking at cost-effective measures, such as doing disinfecting internally,” said Assistant City Manager Mike Gebhart.
Previous disbursements of CARES funds included allocations for small businesses as well. The first portion of the CARES Act included $162,000 for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The CDBG program provides primarily forgivable loans to Fairborn small businesses, particularly those who employ citizens of low to moderate incomes. Though it is possible that some of the new money will be included in this pool, not all of the original $162,000 has been given out.
The city is also working on putting together a program for individuals that may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Though the details have yet to be ironed out, such a program would have to fall within the parameters for usage.
“We are exploring different avenues to assist residents who have been affected adversely by COVID shutdown,” Gebhart said.
House Bill 614 will bolster Ohio’s unemployment compensation system at the state level as well, according to Perales’ office. The state was overwhelmed by the sudden increase in claims filed due to COVID-19, and the bill includes provisions to create an Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council.
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532
or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter