Elected officials discuss pandemic-related funding


By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com



In a conference call with local elected officials during a recent Fayette County Commissioners’ meeting, Senate Bill 310 — which is related to CARES ACT funding to local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic — was discussed.

According to county commissioner Dan Dean, the funding that initially came from this legislation for Ohio first went to the state, then to areas with populations totaling over 500,000 — which include five counties and Columbus. The rest of the funding will now be split among the remaining 83 counties with amounts depending upon population.

“The state decides how that money is sent or put out. So what the state legislature is going through now under Senate Bill 310 — and the House is going through it now, so hopefully it will pass relatively soon— the first third of that money, roughly $350 million, is planned to be distributed to the counties,” said Dean. “It will come to the counties, if it stays the way it is in this current bill, under the local government funds formula.”

Dean explained that in this formula for Fayette County, approximately 45 percent goes to the City of Washington Court House, approximately 30-35 percent goes to the county, and then a percentage also goes to each village and township within the county.

“So, it’s divided up like it normally is in a regular year. So, each year we get about $750,000 from the state — the county share is about $277,000,” said Dean. “We’ve gotten about the same amount every year since I’ve been a commissioner.”

Dean further explained that, based off current information the commissioners have, Fayette County should get approximately 10 percent more than in a regular year, meaning an approximate total of $800,000 to $825,000 during the initial reimbursement. Once split up accordingly, that would mean “in rough numbers” the county would receive approximately $300,000, the city would get approximately $400,000, and each township would get approximately $8,000, according to Dean. This would only be a third of the funding.

As to what the money can be used for, Dean said that the details on the allowed uses are vague. Local officials are working with other officials to see what the money can be used on other than Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies related to COVID-19.

“Our ultimate hope was that the federal government would let the local governments use the money to replace lost revenue due to the COVID crisis,” said Dean. “We were all shut down. The county’s going to lose a great deal in sales tax, the city’s going to lose some in income tax. If we could replace those revenues with the money, that would go a long way to making things go back to running smoothly in the county and the city. We’re still negotiating with our federal Congressmen and senators.”

For information regarding Senate Bill 310, visit www.ohiosenate.gov/legislation/GA133-SB-310.

According to Dean, this situation is one example as to why the public should fill out the US Census, so an accurate population for Fayette County can be counted to ensure the proper funding for the number of people living within it is received.

The US Census is taken once every 10 years, with it occurring this year. For more information on the census and responding to it, visit www.2020census.gov.

In other recent business, Zach Sollars was appointed for a five-year term to the Fayette County Zoning Appeals Board, which will begin in June.

Two contracts were entered into during the meeting per the request of Faye Williamson, director of Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS).

The first contract is between FCDJFS and Pickaway Area Recovery Services for operation and maintenance of the Fayette County Visitation Center and to provide support services, along with a safe and secure environment for children of families in Fayette County, both for exchange and visitation-related purposes. This contract is effective from June 1 of this year through June 30 of next year and is not to exceed $57,776.16. It is to be funded by TANF PRC and Title XX funds, according to minutes from the meeting.

The second contract is between FCDJFS and Health Recovery Services for placement and other related services for children in the care and custody of FCDJFS. This contract is effective from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of this year.

The recent Fayette County Land Bank meeting was held virtually.

According to minutes from the meeting, Susan Dunn presented the treasurer’s report showing a balance of $145,569.23. During the meeting, it was approved to pay invoices from Reliable Appraisal Solutions and Sam Beedy for appraisal and mowing of 406 S. Main St.

The following property updates were given:

– 406/408 Main St. has been offered to adjacent owner for sale but has had no response. As the property must sell at or above the appraised value, negotiations will continue with the adjacent property owner.

The following properties are on hold as a stay order has been issued through July 30:

-29 Market St., Bloomingburg: advertised complaint for foreclosure

-80 Biddle Blvd., Bloomingburg: advertised complaint for foreclosures

-61 Biddle Blvd., Bloomingburg: foreclosure in process

-833 Millwood Ave.: advertised complaint for foreclosure

-824 John St.: advertised complaint for foreclosure

-229 Green St.: advertised complaint for foreclosure

-1031 Lakeview Ave.: foreclosure in process

-104 E. Paint St.: foreclosure in process

-1226 and 1228 E. Paint St.: title work has been updated, foreclosure in process

The following properties are being considered for transfer to the land bank: 710 Clinton Ave., 433 E. Court St., 833 Millwood Ave., 738 E. Paint St., 1228 E. Paint St., 543 Albin Ave., 520 Carolyn Road, 414 Earl Ave., 734 S. Fayette St., 318 Florence St., 615 E. Paint St., 1221 E. Paint St., 419 Western Ave., 139 Jasper Coil Road.

A sale of 310 McElwain St. will proceed with a sealed bid, to be received Friday, June 5 at 4 p.m. at the Community Action Commission of Fayette County. Bids are to be opened June 8 at 10:30 a.m.

Stay with the Record-Herald weekly for more updates from the Fayette County Commissioners. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House and their office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720. Condensed minutes from the meetings are available on the county website.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

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By Jennifer Woods

jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com