PREBLE COUNTY — Gratis and other area villages voted to apply for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds during a succession of public meetings last month.
Gratis Village Council approved a resolution to apply for CARES Act funding during its Thursday, Aug.13 meeting. During a later meeting held Aug.27, council passed a resolution authorizing the village to spend those dollars and establishing a special Relief Fund for them.
Council also voted to apply for approximately $113,500 in grant funding from the Ohio Dept. of Public Works. The funds would go toward the village’s ongoing storm drain improvement project on Ada Doty Street, along with $26,500 in matching funds supplied by the village.
Though some council members questioned where the village’s portion of funds would come from, councilman David Johnston insisted that the project was a necessity.
“Right now we’re flooding the library every time it rains,” Johnston said. “It’s plain to see this would help.”
Finally, council voted to raise the salary of Gratis Police Chief Jeff King from $1,000 to $1,200 per month. Though one councilman warned that the village’s general operations fund was “dangerously low,” council member Rayanne Allen insisted that the measure was warranted.
“Chief King has worked above and beyond for this village, and this is not a huge raise,” Allen said. “Most other police chiefs in his position make a lot more money.”
At the close of Thursday’s meeting, Liz Highley and Charles Wiggington asked to be allowed to forego their normal compensation of $50 per month as council members and instead donate their time to the village. Both requests were unanimously approved.
Other area meetings:
The Village of Verona received $25,471.81 in CARES Act funds. Council approved purchases of $200 for a hand sanitizing station and $500 for ink pens during its Tuesday, Aug. 11 meeting, according to Village Treasurer Leslie Evans.
“The ink pens will be given to customers coming in to write a check for their utility bills,” Evans told The Register-Herald. “The pen will be the customer’s property when done; this will cut down on everyone touching the same pen. Reid Hospital is doing this, so we followed their lead.”
The Village of West Manchester, meanwhile, received $23,395.02 in CARES Act funding. Council discussed possible uses for the funds during its Monday, Aug. 17 meeting, including installing modern entrance systems with automatic doors and new heating and air filtration systems in two village offices. Council also entered into an agreement with Eaton-based civil engineering firm Kramer & Associates to apply for grant funding for a new water tower.
Camden Village Council approved a resolution to apply for CARES Act funding during its Thursday, Aug. 20 meeting. In addition, Mayor Karen Moss swore in Pastor Greg Jackson as Chaplain of the Camden Police Dept.
Rev. Don Thomas was sworn in as Chaplain of the Lewisburg Police Dept. during Lewisburg Council’s Aug. 20 meeting. Along with Pastor Ken Harbaum, Thomas also provides “ministerial support and presence” to local first responders as chaplain for the Eaton Police Division and the Preble County Sheriff’s Office.
Finally, Tri-County North Schools resumed in-person instruction Monday, Aug. 24. About 100 students have opted to pursue online instruction, according to administrative secretary Noelle Rhoades. Online instruction at TCN will be administered through a web-based platform called Acellus Learning Accelerator; Preble Shawnee, National Trail and Twin Valley South school districts, meanwhile, will use a similar platform called Edmentum.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook or Instagram @mproperenglish