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Catholic Charities returns funds

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning County commissioners received back $500,000 of the $1.5 million in CARES Act funding it allocated to Catholic Charities.

The nonprofit is using its CARES Act money to provide mortgage and rent assistance to the public.

Audrey Tillis, county administrator, said Catholic Charities is still taking applications and will continue to work to distribute its remaining funds by the Dec. 30 deadline. But it was not going to be able to use the entire $1.5 million by the deadline.

Any CARES Act funds not distributed by Dec. 30 comes back to the county commissioners and the federal government.

Of the $500,000, $100,000 will be redistributed to the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities with a goal of distributing it to agencies it works with, Tillis said.

Another $5,000 is going to the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board to make additional public service announcements regarding COVID-19.

“We will be looking at other things,” Tillis said of the remaining funds.

She said she is hoping the federal government will provide an extension of time through the first quarter of 2021 so government entities will have more time to use the dollars.

Tillis said among the things Mahoning County would do with the money if it had several more months would be mortgage and rent assistance and small business assistance.

In other action this week, the commissioners approved a one-time hazardous duty payment of $1,500 to each of 220 employees of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s office.

The $330,000 was available because of CARES Act funds the county received, Sheriff Jerry Greene said.

Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti used some of her time at the end of the meeting to commend Gov. Mike DeWine for his work to protect Ohioans from COVID-19, even though his efforts have cost him support from some fellow Republicans in Columbus.

“I would stand up for him anywhere,” Rimedio-Righetti, a Democrat, said of DeWine. “This man has put his career and everything on the line. He has not looked at party lines. He has worked for all of us Ohioans, and he has worked very hard to keep us safe.”

The two other commissioners, David Ditzler and Anthony Traficanti, also Democrats, also commended the governor.

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