$1M in federal funding set aside for Greene County nonprofits called a ‘supercharger’

Greene County commission meeting

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Greene County commission meeting

XENIA — Greene County has set aside a portion of its American Rescue Plan Act money for nonprofit organizations affected by the pandemic.

County commissioners approved $1 million Thursday toward a nonprofit grant program, that would provide up to $25,000 to eligible 501(c)3 organizations in Greene County.

“This is probably one of the most exciting things of our ARPA grant programs is how many people we’re going to touch with the 501(c)3s,” commissioner Tom Koogler said.

Applications can be submitted to the county Department of Development from May 23 to June 30.

Greene County has slowly rolled out how it’s spending its total $33 million in federal coronavirus relief money. Earlier this month, commissioners approved $7.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars towards larger nonprofit projects and department upgrades. In that round of awards, Greene County’s Family Violence Prevention Center received $1.1 million to establish a Rape Crisis Center for women escaping domestic violence. Nonprofit group Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative was awarded $1 million, and another $1 million would go to the Athletes in Action nonprofit for a water line extension.

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With the grants, the county is looking for projects that will positively impact the most people in a sustainable way.

“It has to be a plan that they can put in place that will allow it to grow, and support itself as time goes on,” he said.

Koogler added that the one-time funds may “fast-track” projects for nonprofits, which often operate on tighter margins.

“This is jump-starting things, putting them on a supercharger,” he said. “Things that maybe would take 10 years to accomplish, we hope to accomplish in 12 months or 24 months.”

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Prior to the grants, the county committed $9.6 million for expanding broadband internet and $10 million in “revenue replacement” for funds that are going toward a new county jail. There’s also $110,000 toward supplementing COVID contact tracing in schools, and $250,000 in consulting.

If all the grant requests are approved, the county will have $3.125 million in ARPA funds remaining to potentially put into other nonprofit grants or internal projects, per the county’s current draft spending plan. All funds must be spent by 2026.

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