XENIA — Greene County commissioners handed out checks totaling $325,000 to the county’s villages and townships Dec. 4.
The board voted in October to create a grant fund through the Greene County Department of Development and disperse $500,000 to the county’s cities, villages, and townships. Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Fairborn, and Xenia will share $175,000 while the villages and townships will share $325,000.
Commissioner Alan Anderson explained that the amount of money given to each political subdivision was calculated on a per capita basis.
“The county’s resources have prospered through the last several years in ways the townships’, villages’ and cities’ could not, simply because of the local government fund cuts,” he explained. “Since we have really been able to set aside money and necessary funds and have been able to do a lot of our infrastructure work, we all thought it was a very good idea to share that $500,000 for the same kind of work that needs to be done at the local levels.”
The grant money was made available from a combination of cutting costs in the county and the revenue received from sales tax, according to Commissioner Bob Glaser.
Commissioner Tom Koogler talked about a $26 million cash carryover, and the decision to share it with the community.
“Having that money in the bank doesn’t do the county or the community any good. We have to get it working in the community, and what better way of doing that than by giving it back to the local political subdivisions? They know what they need more than what we do,” Koogler said.
The entities will choose how to spend their funds; the only restriction is that they must be used toward permanent public improvements.
“We want each of you to take this money and try to do something creative and positive in your particular area,” Glaser said to township and village officials Dec. 4. “That’s very, very important.”
Some officials stepped up to share their current projects and ideas of how they might use the funds in the future.
Brian Housh, Yellow Springs’ council president, mentioned the village’s infrastructure plan and possible paid parking, and added that the village would leverage the funds by seeking other grants.
“It’s important to us that we work together and I think that’s one of the great things about Greene County. I see a lot of positive things moving forward,” Housh said.
Alex Bieri, Clifton’s mayor, talked about the village’s zoning work, revamping nuisance ordinances and reinvesting into public facilities.
“No matter how small, I think all of these funds coming out to us send the right message to your constituents and our constituents,” he said. “And we’re really grateful to have a seat at the table.”
Carolyn Destefani, Sugarcreek Township trustee, said some of the funds might be used toward building a monument to the military.
“I love the collaboration in this room,” she said. “It’s kinda nice for the little people in the community to get this recognition and to receive this money from you.”
Each entity will submit a report to the director of development by Oct. 31, 2019 explaining how the money was spent.