Senator Helped Ensure COVID Rescue Package Provided Assistance to Ohio Cities, Towns, Villages and Counties Amid Increased Expenditures and Revenue Losses Due to Pandemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 10, 2021 – Today, Ohio elected officials from both parties are praising U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) work to provide direct assistance to Ohio cities, towns, villages and counties struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown helped ensure the recently passed COVID rescue package included $350 billion in state and local funding to help states and municipalities across Ohio and helped introduce legislation that provided the vehicle for getting this funding directly to local communities.
Read more about what Ohio’s elected leaders are saying:
“People all over the country are struggling, at no fault of their own, with the health and economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ohio, counties are responsible for providing health and human services such as food, housing, safety, and emergency assistance, and Franklin County, like many others, continues to see highly elevated needs for these services. The significant direct federal support for local governments provided in the American Rescue Plan will ensure these services continue and strengthen our collective response and recovery, and we thank Senator Brown for connecting federal resources directly with residents who need them,” said Kevin L. Boyce, President, Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
“Our partnership with the federal government has been absolutely critical as we work to address the needs in our community, whether it is rent assistance, food assistance, small business relief, supporting testing and vaccine sites or providing PPE to front line workers and our vulnerable neighbors. This funding will allow us to provide help to those struggling to stay afloat,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus.
“It seems as if our small community continuously struggles to get ahead of our needs. The economic impact of the past year has not helped our position. However, the resources offered to us through the American Rescue Plan Act will certainly help us begin to turn that corner and will bring some light to what has been a very dark time,” said Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider.
“Local governments have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the American Rescue Package will ensure that we’re able to continue providing essential services to our residents. This investment will help Dayton to weather the current storm and position us for a strong recovery once the pandemic is behind us,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
“I believe the highest and best use for the ARP would be let the people that have been elected to represent their local Counties, Cities and Villages administer the funds in a manner that is needed to address long overdue neglect. Each community is unique with different needs, what works for my City may not be needed in Mayor Patterson’s. While there has to be checks and balances, in order for the Plan to be the most effective I believe the folks on the front line know how to best use it,” said Wellston Mayor Charlie Hudson.
“Local officials know their communities better than anyone else. As a mayor of a small city that is also a college community who saw a mass exodus of my population in March of 2020, the pandemic has had a unique and profound impact on our local economy. My everyday awareness of our community’s needs is the reason the ARP needs to be distributed down to the local level,” said Athens Mayor Steve Patterson.
“Thank you to Senator Brown and Congresswoman Beatty for your leadership in passage of this greatly needed relief plan. Direct funding to local government is critical to our recovery. Cities drive the growth of our country and will lead the way out of the economic crisis from COVID-19 by investing in core city services, child care to help women get back to work and youth programs to help all of our young people make up what they lost out on this past year,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to sacrifice for the greater health and safety of our neighbors. Across the country, businesses have closed and millions of our residents were out of work, some have still not been able to return and remain in fear for their futures. Providing direct federal aid to communities like ours will be critical in helping us to keep families afloat and aid in our economic recovery. It will be instrumental in helping to treat the wounds of America’s cities and therefore, the wounds of America’s people. I applaud Senator Brown and all those in Congress who are working to put this on President Biden’s desk for signature,” said Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan.
“Cities like Toledo often feel left behind by the decisions made in Washington, DC — and with good reason. But with the American Rescue Plan, a new focus has finally been placed on meeting the needs of the hard-working cities that make up the backbone of America. President Biden and the new leadership in Congress should be congratulated for recognizing that places like Toledo matter. This is a game-changer for us, and the investments we will be able to make will have lasting positive impacts on our city,” said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
“Over the last year cities have struggled on the front lines of the pandemic. In addition to shrinking revenues, our budgets were stretched thin to maintain the health and safety of our communities. We have made many sacrifices including furloughs and the deepest of cuts just to keep the City running and provide basic services. These stimulus funds are essential for Cincinnati to restore the economic momentum and prosperity we spent many years working toward and achieving prior to the pandemic. Senator Brown and Senate Democrats have prevented years of rebuilding that many Ohio cities otherwise would have faced. Thanks to their leadership, Cincinnati will use these funds to restore what was lost and continue to grow,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.
“With the current and pending loss of revenue to the City of Elyria, the American Rescue Plan is going to help us to keep our first responders and the employees that keep our city clean and safe. We are thankful to Senator Brown and the members of Congress for recognizing the urgency and the need Mayors have to move our cities forward,” said Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield.
“We applaud the action taken by the US House and Senate to act quickly on the President’s request for COVID relief for communities, large and small, across the nation. This has been a very difficult year for families, for businesses, for nonprofits and churches, and for local governments. In conjunction with the actual distribution of the vaccines, this federal funding will directly and substantively address the many layers of need that our communities and all our constituents are experiencing,” said Lima Mayor David J. Berger.
“The City of Springfield is grateful for the COVID relief money to our local government to address the issues exacerbated by the crisis, including homelessness. We are very grateful for the help for our citizens,” said Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland.
“South Euclid, along with many of Ohio’s communities, are facing unprecedented costs to address the immediate crisis caused by the pandemic and resulting economic recession. The dual impact of a health care crisis killing thousands and making many more ill, coupled with the devastation of our local economy cannot be overstated. Direct aid to local communities is essential to assist in funding our first responders and provide essential community services for our many residents who have lost their jobs, businesses that have closed or are struggling to stay open and the many members of our community suffering from housing instability. This is a time for compassion in our country and the American Rescue Plan will provide the necessary funding to local governments so that we can continue providing essential services to keep our residents safe and healthy and address the many long-term critical community needs as our region and nation embarks on our recovery,” said South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo.
“Households, restaurants and many retail businesses in Perrysburg should directly benefit from the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. These community members have been hard hit during the COVID 19 pandemic. Those businesses and their owners are the heartbeat of our local community. Supporting them during this difficult time is essential to keeping Perrysburg a vibrant community,” said Perrysburg Mayor Thomas Mackin.
“Allowing local government the ability to provide additional resources to much needed infrastructure such as water and sewer projects to our communities are extremely important. Not only does this give the ability to assist in replacing aging water and sewer systems it also improves quality of life to the residents and the environment,” said Tuscarawas County Commissioner Chris Abbuhl.
“We believe that investing in local governments allow us to make needed changes to our local infrastructure and allows us to support our business community with moving forward following this unprecedented time. Adding the additional dollars to our available grants will enable us to do more for our community than we would have been able to do otherwise. The small towns and villages that had already suffered from low incomes and small village budgets has been hard hit from the pandemic and this investment can make a huge impact on our recovery,” said Village of Dennison Mayor Greg DiDonato.
“In early 2020 the City of Defiance was seeing solid growth in our income tax revenues over 2019, which was a good year too. We knew then that the projects we had been planning for 2020 would come to fruition. Then COVID hit and all those plans had to be shelved; and they are still shelved as our revenues dropped dramatically. This latest round of funding should be just what we need to complete those projects. I’ve always been grateful for the assistance we get from Senator Brown and I thank you again sir for helping make this happen,” said Defiance Mayor Mike McCann
“For almost a year now, the local government leaders that I know, across the political spectrum, have wanted greater spending flexibility from COVID-related Federal relief. If the American Rescue Plan legislation is enacted as I understand it is currently drafted, local governments will get that flexibility. Local governments will be able to use that revenue in a variety of ways, such as providing services to their constituents, and put that money back into the economy in the process,” said Heath Mayor Mark Johns.
“I cannot thank the Senators and Members of the House enough for the passage of the American Rescue Plan. This bill will not only assist our employees with much needed COVID relief but will allow my city to continue the business needed to keep our community safe and healthy as we work through the pandemic. We have suffered economic loss and our workforce is hurting. This bill provides the much needed relief for families struggling to keep the lights and food on the table. The funding will help to protect the jobs of our first responders, Police and Fire as well as the transit workers, sanitation workers and all essential employees in our community. With these funds we will be able to not only provide the much needed PPE protection every person deserves but will provide much needed assistance to continue to protect the health and safety of our citizens. Every American deserves the protections and safety not just in today’s pandemic but for our future,” said Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer.
“Direct assistance to be used for budgetary shortfall is a must for out communities. We, as city leaders have operated in the proper manner throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have made difficult decisions to cut budgets, furlough employees, and limit services, ultimately affecting our residents. This stimulus is needed to maintain operations and fund projects that have been put on hold from the onset the pandemic,” said Niles Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz.
“The passage of the ‘American Rescue Plan’ and the $350 billion allocated to state and local funding represents a much needed lifeline for the city of Warren as we adjust to the critical loss of tax revenue brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding will help stabilize our efforts to provide the critical core services provided by our first responders (police and fire service) as well as our health care workers. In addition it will provide the much needed relief to the many struggling families in our community. This funding also helps our many small businesses keep their doors open while accelerating our efforts to safely re-open our schools,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.
“Local governments, big and small, are extremely grateful for the lifeline extended to them by this COVID relief bill. This money will support local, frontline mitigation efforts and vaccine distribution, but also substantially support local investment and critical safety and social services. Investment in our local communities is investment in the rebuilding of the country. Our local communities would like to thank Senator Brown for his deep understanding of our challenges and his championing of this issue,” said Keary McCarthy, Executive Director of the Ohio Mayors Alliance.