Blanchester establishes COVID-19 relief fund; federal CARES Act money will reimburse village for related expenses

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — A relief fund has been established for the Village of Blanchester.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, the council approved of a resolution establishing the Coronavirus Relief Grant Fund.

The resolution states, “The Fiscal Officer of the Village of Blanchester shall establish the following Special Revenue Fund for a Federal Grant: Coronavirus Relief Grant Fund.”

Council approved of the village’s participation in the County Relief Fund at their July 9 meeting. The money would go toward reimbursing the village for any COVID-19 related expenses.

During the previous meeting, Fiscal Officer Jewelie Casteel informed Mayor John Carman and councilmembers that the village departments will need to go back through their bills and they will also need to provide proof of what needs to be reimbursed.

“The rules for the reimbursement are changing day by day,” said Casteel. “I’m trying to keep up to date with it. But honestly, it’s changing all the time.”

Carman praised Casteel for her work in keeping up-to-date on the changes.

Casteel told the News Journal there were unanticipated expenses in supplies and services for the village due to the pandemic-related mandates.

“By choosing to participate in the Coronavirus Relief Federal Grant, the Village of Blanchester will be able to recoup most, if not all, unforeseen coronavirus-related expenses that were not budgeted for previously,” she said.

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 Gov. 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.

According to Clinton County Auditor Terry Habermehl, Clinton County received over $543,000. In a breakdown the News Journal published in June, Blanchester will receive $66,302.38.

All associated transactions will be monitored through the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM).

“We are greatly appreciative of this grant and for the assistance it will provide the village during these uncertain times,” said Casteel.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574