WILMINGTON — County Auditor Terry Habermehl reports that Clinton County received its allocation totaling more than $1.19 million in COVID-19 emergency aid for local municipalities on June 23. The auditor’s office expects to begin distribution of these funds by the end of the week.
Twenty-two political subdivisions in Clinton County will receive a portion of these funds, with the largest share going to Clinton County and the city of Wilmington. According to Habermehl, the county will receive over $543, 000 and Wilmington will receive more than $352,000.
The funding comes from the federal CARES Act, enacted into law on March 27, which established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. Ohio’s H.B. 481, which was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on June 19, dictates that $350 million in relief funding provided to the state will be distributed to Ohio’s local governments through their county auditors.
Each entity’s legislative body must pass a resolution requesting the funds from the county auditor before they can receive their share of the distribution. Once a resolution is provided to the auditor’s office, the jurisdiction will receive its funds electronically within seven days. Habermehl said his office already has received one resolution and is receiving questions from several jurisdictions.
State and local governments are restricted in how they can use these funds and can only use them for unexpected expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency after March 1 of this year.
For example, a jurisdiction could use the funds to purchase and provide masks and hand sanitizer for its employees, but they could not use the funds to pay the salaries of those employees. Similarly, the funds cannot be used to make up for lost revenues resulting from the pandemic.
Habermehl said the funds will be distributed in accordance with a formula established by the Clinton County Budget Commission each year. The same formula is agreed upon by the majority of political subdivisions and used to allocate Ohio local government fund monies.
Clinton County will receive 45.5% of the funds with Wilmington set to receive 29.5% and the village of Blanchester is eligible for up to 5.5%.
Below is a breakdown of eligible funding for all jurisdictions in Clinton County (entity followed by share of the total and dollar amount):
Clinton County: 45.5% $543,559.20
Blanchester 5.5%; $66,302.28
Clarksville 0.9%; $10,751.72
Martinsville 0.9%; $10,751.72
Midland 0.6%; $7,167.83
New Vienna 1.8%; $21,503.46
Port William 0.4%; $5,375.85
Sabina 4.8%; $57,342.50
Wilmington 29.5%; $352,417.55
Adams 0.9%; $10,751.72
Chester 0.7%; $8,362.44
Clark 0.8%; $9,557.08
Green 0.6%; $7,167.83
Jefferson 0.6%; $7,167.83
Liberty 0.4%; $4,778.53
Marion 1.4%; $16,724.92
Richland 0.6%; $7,167.83
Union 1.5%; $17,919.54
Vernon 0.9%; $10,154.41
Washington 0.9%; $10,154.41
Wayne 0.5%; $5,973.18
Wilson 0.3%; $3,583.91
Total: 100.00% $1,194,635.74
According to Habermehl, the passage of this legislation is much anticipated by Ohio’s local governments. The Ohio Senate passed the relief bill on May 6, but the House of Representatives did not pass the bill until June 12.
“My office has been preparing to distribute these funds for weeks,” Habermehl stated. “We did not want to make officials in our local communities wait any longer for this important relief funding. We are ready to distribute these funds to each jurisdiction quickly, as soon as they send us the resolution required to request the funds.”
Once a jurisdiction receives their funds, they have until October 15 to spend the funds appropriately, within federal guidelines. Any money left unspent at that time must be returned to the auditor’s office, who will then redistribute those extra funds to the jurisdictions that did spend the entirety of their original CARES Act distribution.