Local Ohio Leaders From Both Parties Welcome COVID Relief Money

Mar 15, 2021

$2.2 billion is coming to Ohio’s 88 counties from the new COVID relief package, and another $2.2 billion will go to 930 Ohio cities and villages. And local leaders of both parties say they need the money.

Counties will get from $255,380,000 for Franklin County to $2,500,000 for Vinton County.

Tim Bubb is the president of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, and a Republican commissioner in Licking County, which will get more than $34 million. He said he knows his GOP colleagues in Congress voted against the package, and some others have had sharp criticisms of it.

“And I understood that. But overall the country needs an infrastructure program and it needs relief from the pandemic," Bubb said in an interview for "The State of Ohio".

The range for cities and villages is a thousand dollars to the smallest communities including Octa, Elgin and Miltonsburg to more than a half a billion dollars for the city of Cleveland.

Democrat David Berger is the mayor of Lima, getting more than $26 million. He's also a member of the bipartisan Ohio Mayors' Alliance. And he said he doesn’t understand the partisan opposition.

“I don’t have the luxury of simply deciding things on whose team I’m on," Berger said, also on "The State of Ohio". I’m on the team of my community.”

Both Berger and Bubb say the money should be seen as long-term investments to repair pandemic related economic damage.

Ohio's budget director has credited previous COVID relief as "essentially serv[ing] as a second rainy day fund for us," and has suggested that may make draining the state's rainy-day fund unnecessary.