By Amanda Ensinger
At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board approved the June opening of summer day camp.
“A maximum of 72 children can be at day camp and they will be in groups of nine or less,” said Rob Peters, township administrator. “Childcare will be provided Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for children between the ages of 6-12.”
The gymnasium at the community center will be used for the childcare, as well as the Prairie Room, Multipurpose Room, Prairiedise Room and Wetlands Room.
“There will be no field trips, no pool and the drop-in format has been eliminated,” Potts said. “The children will be divided into eight groups with one counselor per group.”
Originally, 84 children were signed up for camp and because of the childcare requirements of the state, the center had to reduce the maximum capacity to 72 children. The township also closed the splash pad at the community center, so children will not be able to use that feature.
“We still want this to be an active program, but it will be very different than previous years,” said Peters.
The community center has no timeline on when other parts of the center will open and has only said it will have a staggered reopening of closed areas. Officials have also stated that this is contingent upon the state guidelines and safety measures that are being implemented to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
However, Township Hall is open to residents and the meeting room does have tables and chairs setup that adhere to social distancing requirements in case residents do want to meet with township staff.
Other community events continue to be on hold or canceled this year due to COVID-19.
Among these is the popular WABA Parade and the Prairie Township Firefighters Association annual Fish Fry. Both events have been canceled in 2020.
“We are continuing to make decisions based on Governor (Mike) DeWine’s recommendations and from information we hear at the daily press conferences,” Peters said. “We have allowed most of our staff to come back, but we still have some staff working from home. We have no timeline for when they will stop working from home and come back to the office.”
In other news, the board discussed the CIC Economic Assistance Loan Program they would be implementing for township businesses. The program is to provide financial support to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is for any business that was in Prairie Township prior to COVID-19,” Peters said. “The program offers a maximum loan of $5,000 with zero percent interest to be paid back within 36 months. The first payment would be due Jan. 31, 2021.”
According to Peters, loan payments would be due the last day of each month and there is no closing or processing fees. The township has allocated $147,000 for the program and loans will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
“The purpose of the program is to assist local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Peters said. “The loan can be used to reopen a business, purchase personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, barriers they need or any other needs they have during these tough times.”
Each company can have one loan and they do not have to take the maximum loan amount.
“We want to do what we can to help local businesses,” Peters said. “Business are struggling, and we want them to know we are here to help.”