Treasury Releases Info on American Rescue Plan Funding, Ohio Townships’ Status Still Unclear
EDIT 5/11/21: The OTA would like to clarify any misinformation - there still remains opportunity for Ohio townships to receive direct ARP funds. Misinformation may conclude that the only townships receiving direct funds are the three townships on the list for metro cities with populations +50,000. As stated below, details on townships that do not fall into that population category are as of yet unclear, and will depend on further upcoming Treasury guidance
Today’s release of American Rescue Plan (ARP) information from U.S. Treasury comes after weeks of advocacy on townships’ behalf by the Ohio Township Association (OTA), Ohio’s Congressional delegation, and other state and federal partners. The OTA looks forward to more detailed guidance from Treasury regarding Ohio townships’ eligibility or lack thereof for direct ARP funds. In the information release today was the statement that “Treasury plans to provide further guidance on distributions to non-entitlement units in the coming days.” The OTA is hopeful that all townships in Ohio will be part of that upcoming guidance and will be considered eligible non-entitlement units of local government.
Three Ohio townships (see below) were included in today’s allocation list for metropolitan cities, which provides allocations for local governments over 50,000 in population. If the remaining +1,000 Ohio townships are ultimately not determined eligible for direct funds, townships could potentially still receive ARP funds via a voluntary transfer from other eligible entities, which the OTA has discussed with statewide leaders.
The three townships – some of Ohio’s largest – that were included in allocations for local governments over 50,000 in population are listed below with their estimated allocation amounts:
- Colerain Township, Hamilton County: $7,496,967.00
- Green Township, Hamilton County: $8,913,892.00
- West Chester Township, Butler County: $6,625,433.00
“It is crucial that all of Ohio’s 1,308 townships - whose communities total over four million Ohioans - receive these pandemic-relief funds, just like Ohio’s other forms of local government,” said Heidi M. Fought, OTA Executive Director. “Townships have been hit hard economically by COVID-19. If they are not determined eligible for direct funds or provided funds via a transfer from an eligible entity, over one thousand units of local government will be put at a disadvantage when trying to recover from the pandemic’s effects.”
The confusion regarding ARP funding was caused by language inconsistencies between bill versions – more specifically, a definition change in the term “nonentitlement unit of local government.” Townships in Ohio (and in several other states) were included during the House process but were left out of the final version of the legislation.