Clark County projects up for second-round of state CARES Act funding

The current shelter house at Smith Park in New Carlisle. A second shelter house could be added to the park through CARES Act funding. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The current shelter house at Smith Park in New Carlisle. A second shelter house could be added to the park through CARES Act funding. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

New Carlisle may receive $430,000 of funding for park shelter house

Several projects totaling more than $500,000 are up for consideration for the state portion of CARES Act funding, including a park shelter for New Carlisle, as well as HVAC and air purification projects for the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, Neighborhood Housing and United Senior Services.

The Clark County Board of Commissioners approved applications for a second round of projects for CARES Act funding. Clark County Community and Economic Development grants coordinator Dirk Lackovich-Van Gorp noted that the applications for the projects will be sent to the state’s Office of Community Development. From there, the county will wait for state approval, which may take a month or longer, Lackovich-Van Gorp said, although he said the county is hopeful that funding will be approved with an October grant start date.

New Carlisle City Council has proposed this project in Smith Park, to be used as a year-round park shelter and facility house, according to the grant coordinator. The grant proposal totals $430,000.

The shelter would be similar to one already in the park that hosts city council meetings and other events.

The shelter house at Smith Park in New Carlisle. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The shelter house at Smith Park in New Carlisle. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The HVAC system proposed for Neighborhood Housing Partnership would replace current HVAC with updated air purification and ionization technology in the facilities where the partnership provides public services, totaling $16,900. The HVAC projects for the United Senior Services and Clark County DJFS will involve the purchase and installation of air purification and ionization filters on their current HVAC systems in areas where there is interaction with the public, with each project totaling roughly $27,000.

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Lackovich-Van Gorp told the News-Sun that this second round of projects would be specifically funded through the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Community Development. Lackovich Van-Gorp explained that the state receives this money in the form of Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

These grant awards go to eligible counties throughout the state through a competitive process under the grant’s Target of Opportunity program, Lackovich-Van Gorp said. All proposed projects must benefit low-moderate income people, communities or neighborhoods which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These projects are included in the county’s second round of CDBG-related CARES Act funding. Clark County submitted its first application for CARES CDBG coronavirus funding in February, Lackovich-Van Gorp said, and the county was awarded $720,800 for five projects, in addition to the administrative funding allotted in the award (totaling $50,000 for the first round of projects, with another $50,000 requested for the second).

Several CDBG-CARES-funded projects have been in progress since April through agreements with four county-wide non-profit partners: Rocking Horse Public Health, Safe Harbor House, Citi Lookout and Second Harvest.

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Rocking Horse Public Health, to start, received more than $300,000 for the construction of a drive-through service area to its existing facility. Funding was also allotted to the health clinic for renovations to the two of the building’s exam rooms. Construction is expected to begin by fall, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

For Safe Harbor House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, funding for the installation of new HVAC equipment and system upgrades was awarded, totaling, $36,200. This project will be completed by autumn 2021. An additional $19,600 was awarded to the shelter to provide services — trauma counseling, emergency safe housing and other emergency support — during the COVID19 pandemic, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

Similarly, Citi Lookout was awarded $60,000 in order to provide support services during the COVID19 pandemic.

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Second Harvest received $252,000 to go toward weekly food delivery to houses in the county.

“Home delivery of food is required in order to ensure adequate nutrition for seniors, persons with disabilities, homeless persons and other vulnerable persons,” Lackovich-Van Gorp stated.

The deliveries will be supported by two new refrigerated vans, along with the necessary drivers, staff, operational costs and supplies to run the program. The vans have been purchased and equipped and are currently in operation, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

In addition to the CARES CDBG-CV funding, the County Commissioners allocated federal CARES funding that the Board received under the local government assistance program to help households impacted by COVID-19 cover the costs of rent, mortgage and utilities. Funding also went toward providing grants to small businesses or nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

This CARES Act assistance was provided primarily during October through the end of 2020. A total 68 of households in Clark County received rent, mortgage or utility assistance, which totaled $172,970 worth of funding. In addition, more than 40 businesses and nonprofits were provided a total of $435,000 worth of grants, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

By the Numbers:

4: The number of projects applications approved for submission to the state in the second-round of CARES funding

68: The number of households supported in 2020 through federal CARES Act funding housing assistance

430,000: The requested amount of funding for the New Carlisle park shelter house project