County reaps others’ unspent CARES cash
LISBON – More federal COVID-19 aid is coming to cities, village and townships, thanks to unspent money returned by other recipient communities.
A total of $587,537 in unspent CARES Act money was returned by the Nov. 20 deadline, with $146,844 going to county commissioners. The rest will be redistributed based on population to 11 of the 18 townships and nine of the 13 cities and villages.
The following is a list of those communities receiving additional CARES funding, which stands for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress in April to provide financial assistance to federal, state and local governments, business and individuals.
East Liverpool, $62,487
New Waterford, $6,954
Center Township, $19,571
Elkrun Township, $26,655
Hanover Township, $18,186
Liverpool Township, $22,253
Madison Township, $17,797
Middleton Township, $18,711
Perry Township, $25,270
St. Clair Township, $44,117
Washington Township, $5,298
Wayne Township, $4,543
Yellow Creek Township, $11,833
The initial round of CARES funding received for local governments totaled about $12 million, with $5.9 million going to commissioners and the rest to cities, villages and townships. The money had to approved for a specific use by Nov. 20 or returned to the county auditor’s for redistribution. All earmarked CARES money has to be spent by Dec. 31.
Communities prohibited from receiving any of the returned CARES money were those that either chose never to take any in the first place or failed to spend their entire allocation by Nov. 20.
The following communities that never requested any CARES funding were Franklin and Salem townships and Hanoverton, Rogers and Summitville. Butler, Fairfield, Knox, Unity and West townships, and East Palestine failed to spend its entire initial allocation, so they are not eligible to receive any of the returned funds.
County commissioners have said they intend to spend any returned money it receives to fund additional applications under the county small business grant program begun using the county’s CARES allocation. A combined $354,973 in small business grants were approved by commissioners before Nov. 20, about $200,000 less than was originally set aside. About $680,000 in applications were received.
Commissioners made a last-minute decision to use all of its remaining CARES money on a $1.46 million plan to bring reliable wireless broadband service to the county. To do this, commissioners had to take the remaining money promised for small businesses grants that had already been recommended for approval.
Commissioner Mike Halleck said the plan is to use any returned CARES money it receives to fund as many of those small business grants as possible.