Clark County federal relief to cover architect fees, EMA mobile command center

Up to $250,000 in federal relief will go toward buying a new incident command center for the Clark County Emergency Management Agency. Photo provided by Mike Cooper.

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Up to $250,000 in federal relief will go toward buying a new incident command center for the Clark County Emergency Management Agency. Photo provided by Mike Cooper.

Up to $750,000 in federal relief will go toward buying a new incident command center for the Clark County Emergency Management Agency and covering architect fees for upcoming renovations to the Clark County Courthouse.

The Clark County commission on Wednesday approved up to $500,000 to cover architect fees for the Clark County Courthouse Improvement project.

The renovation project for the Clark County Common Pleas courthouse — located at 101 N. Limestone St. — will occur in phases, as people will be working in the building during the renovation process, county administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said.

Renovations will focus on the building’s interior. The courthouse’s exterior went through renovations several years ago, with the replacement of windows and other updates to the building, Clark County Spokesman Mike Cooper said.

The county is currently looking into acquiring funds for the project, and it’s unclear how much the it will cost.

The project will likely go out for bid next year, Hutchinson said.

Up to $250,000 was allocated this month to the purchase of an incident command center, which is a trailer used by the Clark County EMA to respond to emergency situations. The agency’s current trailer, which contains a few workspaces for agency workers to use at the scene of an emergency event, is roughly 20 years old.

The incident command center was used by the EMA last week during a standoff with police where a Dayton man barricaded himself inside a house at the corner of Fair Street and Lowry Avenue in Springfield.

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Clark County Common Pleas Court

Clark County Common Pleas Court

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Clark County Common Pleas Court

Federal relief can be used to cover costs related to public safety, according to the commission. Up to $250,000 was allocated last week to replacing the trailer.

The allocations were funded through the county’s standard allowance, which is the $10 million portion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that can be used for the reimbursement of revenue loss due to the pandemic.

The amount of revenue lost by a county to the pandemic was originally determined by a formula created for the ARPA that compares revenues from pre-pandemic years to revenue earned during the pandemic.

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Last September, commissioners approved spending of ARPA funds to reimburse the county for an estimated $1.38 million worth of lost revenue that resulted from the pandemic through Dec. 31, 2020.

In April, the commission authorized $8.6 million of federal relief to reimburse the county for lost revenue and government services.

From the $10 million in ARPA funding in the standard allowance, $800,000 is also being used to cover the costs of a waterline extension project on Rt. 235.

A total of $26 million was allocated to Clark County from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in March 2021. A total of $350 billion was allocated to help local governments across the country reeling from the pandemic.

The Clark County commission has also allocated ARPA funding to more than 20 projects and other items, such as employee paid administrative leave and technology for the county’s dispatch center, expected to open this year.

Commissioners also approved ARPA spending for a stormwater improvement project for Enon-Xenia Road to alleviate flooding in the area and for a fiber optic project to service county-owned buildings, as well as a safety improvement project for Spangler Road.

Another $220,000 was allocated in January to assist Clark County veterans seeking aid through the county veterans office.

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Up to $2.5 million in the federal relief dollars was allocated to reimburse the county for a portion of dispatch center costs, as well an additional $300,000 to cover the costs of programming and personnel expenses for reentry services for people preparing to leave incarceration in Clark County.

The commission also voted to allocate $125,000 for a part-time position for several years for the Ohio State University extension office of Clark County. The position will focus on assisting the county’s local food program and community gardens. In addition, roughly $260,000 in ARPA funding was allocated to reimburse the county for COVID-19 health care expenses incurred by the county self-insurance health care program.

This month, the commission allocated $100,000 to purchase and install an emergency radio system and a cellular booster system in the district’s K-12 building and another $82,185 to the Clark County EMA for costs associated with updating emergency operations plans for the county.

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