CARES Act funds to benefit Reynoldsburg’s police department

Kelley Youman
ThisWeek
Reynoldsburg City Hall

Reynoldsburg will use the majority of more than $3 million in federal CARES Act funds to pay for public safety.  

City Council on Nov. 9 unanimously approved using about $2.3 million in CARES Act money to pay salaries and benefits for the Reynoldsburg police department.  

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was signed into law March 27. The money must be spent by the end of the year. 

Using CARES Act funds will allow the city to “break even” due to an expected loss of about $2 million in tax revenue this year because of business closures, unemployment, layoffs and furloughs, officials said. 

“We have to rely on guidance that we receive from the United States Treasury Department and from the Ohio Office of Management and Budget to determine how it is that we can spend this money,” City Attorney Chris Shook said. “The United States Treasury has determined that our police officers’ jobs are now substantially different or dedicated to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in our city; we are now able to utilize those CARES Act funds to reimburse the city for their payroll and expenses during that time period.” 

Since the pandemic began, the department has increased the frequency of cleaning equipment such as cruisers, distributed PPE (personal protection equipment), adjusted staffing levels and assisted with reopening mayor’s court, police Chief Curtis Baker said.  

Reynoldsburg has 67 full-time officers, seven reserve officers, nine dispatchers and 11 other civilian positions with a 2020 budget of more than $13 million. 

Reynoldsburg received a total of $3,060,808 in CARES Act funding.  

The city set aside $300,000 for a small-business grant program and awarded $200,000 to Reynoldsburg City Schools for software, internet access and server capacity related to online learning.  

The city also awarded a $23,000 grant to the Mid-Ohio Market and HEART food pantry, 6475 E. Main St., Suite 101, for rent and utility costs and spent $80,000 in CARES Act funds to purchase 20 portable air-purification systems for city facilities.  

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