Thanks to the federal CARES Act, Athens County alongside municipalities in the county will receive a total of $1.5 million, County Auditor Jill Thompson reported Thursday.

This funding is a portion of the $350 million distributed as relief funding for Ohio. The funds can only be used for unexpected expenditures incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic after March 1, 2020. Examples of this include purchase of face masks and hand sanitizer for employees. However, anything already budgeted for, such as standard cleaning, will not be accepted.

Funds will be distributed to various jurisdictions in the county after the legislative bodies pass a resolution requesting the funding. A handful of resolutions have been received, Thompson reported. The amount per jurisdiction was decided with a formula approved by the Athens County Budget Commission.

“As the county’s largest municipality, the County of Athens will receive the largest share, 50 percent, of the relief funds, a sum of more than $757 thousand,” a press release from the Auditor’s Office read. “Athens City, Nelsonville City, Athens Township and the Village of Glouster will get the next largest portions of the funds.”

That breaks down to be distributed as:

  • Athens County — $757,312
  • Athens City — $460,628
  • Nelsonville City — $73,897
  • Athens Township — $4,009
  • Glouster Village — $20,667

The Senate passed the bill for the relief funds on May 6, but the same bill was not passed in the U.S. House of Representatives until June 12.

“My office has been preparing to distribute these funds,” Thompson said. “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 subdivision quickly, as soon as they send us the resolution required to request the funds.”

Each municipality will have until Oct. 15, 2020 to spend the funds on appropriate items. Any unspent money leftover must be returned to the Auditor’s office, who will distribute the funds to jurisdictions that did spend the entirety of the original funds distributed. This redistribution will be proportional to the population of those jurisdictions.

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