CHAGRIN FALLS —Village council passed two pieces of legislation on Monday both dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the most local level and proactive way.
The first dealt with its lawful ability to continue holding public meetings remotely and electronically at least 30 days after the Nov. 30 end date.
The second was the disbursement of state-issued COVID-19 relief funds to local entities which serve the public.
In-person government meetings are scheduled to begin again Dec. 1, but because Ohio is still experiencing new cases of COVID-19, Village Council passed a resolution asking Gov. Mike DeWine and the General Assembly to extend its ability to continue meeting electronically.
Gov. DeWine’s original emergency order passed by the state legislature in March would be replaced by Ohio Senate Bill 363 extending the order for at least 30 days.
The resolution is supported by the Ohio Municipal League and other Ohio communities and cites a current spike in COVID-19 cases.
The resolution states that 86 percent of Ohio’s population lives in 56 of the state’s 88 counties now designated at red or level three designating very high exposure to the virus and therefore a risk to the health, safety and welfare of all Ohioans. The state’s alert system has four levels from low to high, yellow, orange, red and purple.
Mayor William Tomko earlier Monday said he did not understand the rush to reopen in-person meetings and putting people in jeopardy and pointed out state senators representing higher density population areas of the state are in the vast minority in the voting membership.
Also passed unanimously by emergency ordinance was the authorization of $116,877 in local sub-grants from federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funds.
Donations went to:
Chagrin Falls schools for polycarbonate desk dividers, the Chagrin Falls Suburban Volunteer Fireman’s Association, Inc. to acquire a Stryker LIFEPAK for treating COVID-19 patients as well as a UV “Moonbeam” sanitizing system for its facilities and public spaces.
Funds will be given to reimburse Chagrin Falls rescue squad partner hospitals Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital, University Hospital Geauga Medical Center and University Hospital Ahuja Medical Center for unexpected costs due to the COVID-19 public health emergencies.
In addition, the United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls pre-school donation will purchase sanitizing equipment, masks, bridges, thermometers, walkie talkies and related supplies, and Valley Lutheran Church pre-school will buy sanitizing equipment and supplies with its gift.
Mayor Tomko said the donations were allocated after the village had recovered all of its COVID-19 expenses. In allocating the remaining CARES Act funds, he said, decisions were based on which had the highest impact on residents and the public.