Blanchester: Municipal Building, BPA closed to public until January due to COVID-19


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



BLANCHESTER — The Village Municipal Building and Board of Public Affairs will close their offices due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a news release from Mayor John Carman, with recent directives from the CDC and Gov. Mike DeWine, the village decided to declare a State of Emergency to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“As the governor takes actions to reduce the spread of this disease in Ohio, we also are taking action for the safety of our residents and staff,” said Carman.

Effective Thursday, Nov. 26, the Village Municipal Building and Board of Public Affairs Office will be closed to the public until Jan. 4, 2021.

The police and street departments will remain open for “safety and services” to the community. The staff will continue to work and will be available by phone or email.

If locals have questions or need assistance, they are to contact the Mayor’s Office at 937-783-4702 or email showard@blanchester.org. For zoning issues, contact Jeff Hurst at 937-783-4702 ext. 11 or email zoning@blanchester.org.

Field offices and staff for electric, water, and sewer plants will remain fully operational to provide the necessary utilities needed and will respond to critical issues and emergencies, should they arise.

For BPA payments, they can be made by mail or using the drop off box located outside the municipal building. They can also be made by calling 1-855-967-0320 or utilizing the new online bill pay service at www.invoicecloud.com/blanchesteroh.

Help for locals

The BPA’s news release for those needing financial assistance stated, “Governor DeWine announced CARES Act Funding (Coronavirus Relief Fund) to Community Action Agencies to provide rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer assistance to Ohioans in need. This assistance will help Ohioans pay outstanding balances back to April 1, 2020. Contact Clinton County Community Action for help.”

The grant funding will also help businesses, non-profits, and Ohioans impacted by the pandemic to pay for a “variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs.”

Details on eligibility and how Ohioans can apply for the assistance can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov/pdf/10232020-home-relief-grant.pdf

“We will work with our customers on any billing issues that might arise, by phone or by an appointment if needed, with proper PPE,” the BPA release stated. “We hope you and your families remain safe during the next few months.”

The scheduled December village council meeting will be closed to public attendance but can be viewed via Facebook Live on the village Facebook page

“We are committed to supporting our residents and will respond to your request as soon as possible,” said Carman. “Remember, we are in this together. I encourage our residents to take every precaution to stay safe during the holiday season.”

Carman said they’ll continue to monitor the situation and update the village Facebook page and website when they occur.

For the latest information about the coronavirus, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

For information on the relief fund, visit businesshelp.ohio.gov or email businesshelp@development.ohio.gov.

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By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574