By Dedra Cordle
The state is set to allocate thousands of dollars to Jackson Township in order to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19.
At the May 12 board of trustees meeting, Fiscal Officer Ron Grossman said the state will distribute $92,000 to the township should Senate Bill 310 pass the House.
The allocation of state funds to municipalities and townships is a part of a greater federal aid package that was sent to Ohio through the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
Under the bill, the funds can only be used on expenses related to the pandemic. For example, it can be used to cover the cost of testing, the cost of disinfecting vehicles, the purchase of personal protective equipment and other emergency personnel expenses.
Grossman said when, and if, the bill is passed, the township will set up a fund and transfer payments already made under the restricted usage.
He said to date, the fire department has spent $27,000 to purchase personal protective equipment and disinfect their vehicles.
Last month, the township also received $36,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a component of the CARES Act. Those dollars were to be used under the EMS fund.
In other financial news, Grossman said the township has roughly $9 million in cash, $8.2 million invested, $153,000 in EMS transportation and $481,000 in primary checking.
He also mentioned that the township received the Homestead and Rollback Tax collection from the state.
Trustee Dave Burris asked how much the township is spending in a pay period.
“We are spending between $1.5 and $2 million a month,” Grossman replied.
Burris said with the amount the township is spending, he worried the positive cash balance of $9 million would not last long.
In other township news, Fire Chief Randy Little said the number of transports of COVID-19 patients has gone down.
“At the last board meeting, we had been averaging six transports a day and over the last two weeks we are now averaging two to three patients a day,” he said.
He said he did not know how long the decrease would last.
“As restaurants and other public arenas start to reopen, I imagine we will see that number increase a bit,” he said.
In regards to the number of other emergency runs, Little said they had 224 EMS runs and transported 61 percent of patients to hospitals.
“That is down by 9 percent,” he said. “I don’t know if people are hesitant about going to hospitals or if they are being choosier about why they call.”