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Ohio House finance committee seeks to provide all townships with American Rescue Plan stimulus money

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 6/22/2021 Robin Goist, cleveland.com
a large building: If approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, the amendment would make all Ohio townships eligible to receive stimulus money, after weeks of uncertainty. © Laura Hancock/Laura Hancock, cleveland.com If approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, the amendment would make all Ohio townships eligible to receive stimulus money, after weeks of uncertainty.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ohio House Finance Committee added an amendment to Senate Bill 111 on Tuesday that would make all townships eligible to receive American Rescue Plan stimulus money.

The bill - which appropriates American Rescue Plan funds to the state’s schools and smaller governments – is now awaiting a House floor vote. If passed, it will go back to the Senate for approval before heading to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk for his signature.

The amendment specifies that the state’s Office of Budget and Management should distribute stimulus money to cities, villages and townships with populations less than 50,000. Larger cities and townships, or “metro cities,” are receiving funds directly from the U.S. Treasury, with amounts based on formulas used to allocate Community Development Block Grants. Smaller governments will receive stimulus money through the state based on population.

The Treasury released guidance in May identifying Ohio as one of eight states with so-called “weak” townships, and therefore able determine whether some townships could be deemed ineligible if they don’t provide municipal services or wouldn’t have use for the money. The guidance came after weeks of uncertainty, since the final version of the American Rescue Plan Act only specified that cities and villages – but not townships – should receive money.

The Ohio Township Association said in a news release it was “pleased” by the House Finance Committee’s move toward giving all townships their share of funding.

“The OTA thanks the Finance Committee, is monitoring this crucial development, and will release further information and details pertaining to townships and the funds once the bill progresses through the legislative process,” the release states.

Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer used census data and Treasury guidelines to estimate how much each Northeast Ohio village, township and smaller city will receive, if all townships are deemed eligible. Read more here.

The Treasury has already announced how much each of Ohio’s 38 metro cities will receive. The money for all local governments will be distributed in two payments over two years.

Stimulus Watch is a public-service journalism project from cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer to track federal stimulus money coming into Northeast Ohio through the American Rescue Plan. Read more at cleveland.com/stimulus-watch.

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