According to the Social Security Act, the funds must be only used to cover costs incurred by Dec. 31, 2024, and related to the COVID-19 pandemic or its negative economic impacts.
Liberty Twp. will receive the second-most among the communities under 50,000 in Butler County. Liberty Twp. Trustee Christine Matacic previously told the Journal-News her focus for the township’s collective $4 million would be for fire protection equipment, water and sewer repairs and improvements, and infrastructure needs.
Township spokesperson Caroline McKinney said Thursday there are no specific projects at this time, and trustees will create its special fund at next week’s meeting. She also said it’s not yet certain when they’ll receive the first half of the federal funds.
Fairfield Twp. will receive a total of nearly $2.4 million. Trustees haven’t discussed how they’d like to spend that money, but Trustee Joe McAbee said he’s “got a couple of good ideas” concerning economic development.
Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer said trustees “will be exploring potential uses for these funds to determine how they can best serve our community.”
This is the first time townships will receive some of the federal funds to help offset costs associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic. There are 1,308 townships in Ohio, and this funding impacts 1,305 of those local governments.
The Ohio Township Association released a statement last month saying the state has “finally and rightfully” confirmed direct ARP funding for the townships.
“Congress’ intention was to provide funding relief to local governments. With townships providing essential services to four million Ohioans, they desperately need these funds, just like cities and villages,” said Heidi M. Fought, OTA executive director.
West Chester Twp., Ohio’s largest township at nearly an estimated 64,000 residents, is the only Butler County township not a part of “smaller local government” allocation. Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson said the township is receiving around $6.6 million from the ARPA.
Pandemic relief for smaller local governments
Area townships, cities, and villages with populations under 50,000 are eligible to receive direct American Rescue Plan funds. Half the amount below will be distributed soon and the remainder will be available 12 months later. Listed are eligible communities with total funds to be allocated:
Liberty Twp.: $4,076,492
Fairfield Twp.: $2,391,571
Madison Twp.: $938,779
Hanover Twp.: $896,774
Ross Twp.: $874,671
Morgan Twp.: $612,584
St. Clair Twp.: $488,664
Wayne Twp.: $432,098
Milford Twp.: $392,397
Reily Twp.: $291,836
Lemon Twp.: $257,164
New Miami: $249,412
Oxford Twp.: $230,138
Seven Mile: $82,125