Millions in CARES Act money go to Lorain County towns

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JASON HAWK
EDITOR

COLUMBUS — Ohio House Bill 614 was passed last week, setting aside $650 million to help counties, cities, villages and townships weather the COVID-19 crisis.

Already signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, the bill divvies up federal CARES Act money among more than 2,400 local governments statewide, based on population count.

Those in Lorain County will share $23.4 million in relief funds.

The bill follows on the heels of $350 million in CARES Act money approved in June by Ohio lawmakers, as well as $175 million approved by the State Controlling Board in August.

“Today, we wanted to support our communities by providing our local governments with the necessary funds to help pay for accrued expenses from COVID-19,” said State Rep. Dick Stein, R-Norwalk, whose district covers portions of Lorain County. “This relief from House Bill 614 will give them the necessary aide on that front.”

State Rep. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, said the funding will help cover pandemic-related expenses from March 1 to the end of 2020, and unused dollars must be returned to the state.

“This year, we have consistently seen our General Assembly come together and provide these critical funds,” she said. “More of this funding will continue to help our local communities with the burdens brought on by COVID-19.”

State Rep. Joe Miller, D-Amherst, said the CARES Act was intended to provide support for all local governments, especially the hardest by the pandemic.

But he was also critical of the method used to divide money, which was approved without an opportunity for House discussion.

“In addition to the state sitting on this money for far too long, this formula also negatively impacts my district in that 11 of my municipalities and a township are set to lose $4.5 (million) worth of access to CARES money that could be directed to them,” Miller said. “Regardless of my disappointment in the Republicans’ lack of focused support of those most in need, I supported this bill due to its ability to get money to our communities in need. Sadly, the process taken was unacceptable and we need to do better for Ohioans.”

CITIES
• Lorain County $11.16 million
• Amherst $440,321
• Avon $843,200
• Avon Lake $883,020
• Elyria $1.9 million
• Grafton $205,656
• Kipton $8,396
• LaGrange $89,333
• Lorain $2.3 million
• North Ridgeville $1.23 million
• Oberlin $295,457
• Rochester Village $6,306
• Sheffield Lake $321,295
• Sheffield $158,629
• South Amherst $60,360
• Vermilion $60,360*
• Wellington $177,008
*For the portion of Vermilion in Lorain County

TOWNSHIPS
• Amherst Twp. $207,314
• Brighton Twp. $32,829
• Brownhelm Twp. $70,414
• Camden Twp. $51,063
• Carlisle Twp. $266,520
• Columbia Twp. $269,908
• Eaton Twp. $214,809
• Elyria Twp. $114,450
• Grafton Twp. $102,846
• Henrietta Twp. $66,126
• Huntington Twp. $48,648
• LaGrange Twp. $146,233
• New Russia Twp. $69,981
• Penfield Twp. $65,261
• Pittsfield Twp. $58,918
• Rochester Twp. $22,775
• Sheffield Twp. $130,594
• Wellington Twp. $50,486