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Representatives Hall and Swearingen Throw Support Behind Ohio Townships

March 26, 2021
Thomas Hall News

State Reps. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) and D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) have drafted a letter to send to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging funding for townships across Ohio pertaining to the “American Rescue Plan Act.”

Additionally, the representatives have introduced a concurrent resolution within the Ohio House that calls for the recovery package to provide relief to townships.

“The issue with this is that cities and other municipalities across our state of similar sizes are, in fact, eligible — it seems sound and just that townships should be as well,” Hall and Swearingen wrote in the letter. “We have over 1,300 townships in Ohio that work diligently to provide support and services including road maintenance, medical assistance, waste disposal, police and fire protection, and other duties that benefit communities and Ohio families.”

Specifically, the uncertainty within the American Rescue Plan Act is on the definition that reads of a “nonentitlement unit of local government.” The language leaves it open-ended on whether Ohio townships would be eligible for this significant relief.

Currently, over $300 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds will go to states, local governments, territories, and Tribal governments – uncertainty remains if townships qualify for the appropriations.

“The Ohio Township Association is immensely grateful for the support our townships have received from federal, state, and local leaders,” said Heidi M. Fought, OTA Executive Director. “All of Ohio’s forms of local government are in need of this funding – Ohio townships are no exception. Being determined ineligible for this funding would leave townships and their communities struggling to recover from the pandemic’s effects, while other local governments would benefit from the ARP’s financial boost.”

The resolution within the Ohio House awaits its first committee hearing.

Read the Letter