Communities in the Tuscarawas Valley are slated to receive money through the American Rescue Plan Act:
Baltic — $150,000
Barnhill — $80,000
Beach City — $190,000
Bolivar — $190,000
Bowerston — $70,000
Cadiz — $620,000
Carrollton — $590,000
Coshocton — $2.1 million
Deersville — $10,000
Dellroy — $60,000
Dennison — $570,000
Dover — $2.4 million
Freeport — $70,000
Gnadenhutten — $250,000
Jewett — $130,000
Leesville — $30,000
Midvale — $150,000
Millersburg — $630,000
Mineral City — $140,000
New Philadelphia — $3.1 million
Newcomerstown — $730,000
Parral — $40,000
Port Washington — $110,000
Roswell — $40,000
Scio — $140,000
Sherrodsville — $50,000
Stone Creek — $30,000
Strasburg — $530,000
Sugarcreek — $440,000
Tuscarawas — $210,000
Uhrichsville — $1 million
West Lafayette — $450,000
Zoar — $30,000
Source: House Committee on Oversight and Reform
NEW PHILADELPHIA Commissioners are awaiting federal guidelines before deciding how to spend the estimated $17.8 million Tuscarawas County is projected to receive through the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act.
The legislation also includes $19.6 billion for towns with less than 50,000 residents. The amount of money that communities in the Tuscarawas Valley will receive varies widely — from a high of $3.1 million for New Philadelphia to $10,000 for the village of Deersville in Harrison County.
The money may be used to respond to the negative economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on households, small businesses and non-profits, or industries like tourism, travel and hospitality.
It could also be used to offset revenue losses directly related to the public health emergency and make necessary improvements in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.
“We’re certainly looking for the guidelines to be put out by the feds just to make sure,” said Commissioner Al Landis. “We want to look at the quality of life for residents here in Tuscarawas County. Hopefully, that money will be able to be invested in things that are going to make this county more livable, so people want to stay here, raise their families here and especially with businesses locating in the area.”
One possible area for investment of the money is in parks and trails.
“People want to recreate, no matter what age they are,” Landis said. “They want to have the opportunity to spend time outside with their families. I think the investments we have made here locally with the parks and trails is only going to grow.”
Commissioner Chris Abbuhl stressed the importance of spending the money wisely.
“It’s a substantial amount of money that we’re fortunate to be able to get and we want to be able to utilize it in the best way possible,” he said.
However, Commissioner Joe Sciarretti pointed out that Tuscarawas County really doesn’t need that much money.
“So many communities are in dire straits,” he said. “Because they’ve been good fiscal managers here, there’s been a tradition of that, we actually don’t need that much.
“But there’s a lot of communities that do, and what’s unfortunate is that there’s more communities that are in dire straits and hard times, and we’re not in that position because there’s been a great legacy here.”
The money cannot be returned, Landis said.
Holmes County is expected to receive about $8.5 million.
Although Holmes County commissioners had been reviewing a number of projects prior to passage of the legislation, nothing has been targeted to receive the federal funding at this time, they said in a press release.
The commissioners will continue research and an in-depth review of potential projects.
The city of Dover is slated to receive $2.49 million through the American Recovery and Investment Act.
Officials there are taking a wait-and-see approach like commissioners.
“I am awaiting more descriptive guidance on how it can be spent before a decision is made on how it will be utilized,” said City Auditor Nicole Stoldt.
Newcomerstown is projected to receive about $730,000.
“We will be contacting authorities on the program to get more clarification on what other than water and sewer infrastructure projects the money can be spent on,” said Mayor Pat Cadle.
“From that point the discussion will go to council committees to create a list of current and future needs for the funding. These opportunities do not happen very often so we want to be patient and make the best decisions possible for the economical uses of the funds.”