REMINGTON — The Remington Town Council is pondering ways to use coronavirus relief funds that have been distributed to the town.
The council previously asked Clerk-Treasurer Terri Budde to look into obtaining quotes for air purifiers for the town hall and the old Regions Building.
Budde discussed the proposal from Ziants Mechanical for installation of the air purifiers known as OXY 4 Air Purifier. The units are installed directly in the furnace. The quotes received totaled $1,200 installed for the town hall and $2,800 installed for the regions building.
“Before we vote on this, I do want to update you. There has been substantial change in the way we can use this COVID money,” Budde said. “We started with a balance of $37,472 allotted to us and we currently have $18,860. The big change is that we can now use these COVID funds to reimburse ourselves for police and fire; however, since our fire department is volunteer we could only utilize it for police salaries.”
Budde requested some direction as to what to do with the funds.
“You can move ahead with these air purifiers and then apply the balance to police salaries, or it can all go to the police salaries and then I can submit that and it would just go into our general fund,” she said. “(The state) is strongly encouraging towns use this money so that we can show them there is a need and maybe there would be more to come. A lot of it isn’t being used and they are lessening some of the restrictions.”
The COVID relief funds are federal funds distributed in response to the CARES Act. The funds are being monitored by the Indiana Finance Authority. US Treasury Guidance was updated on Sept. 2, indicating that government entities can presume that all payroll costs for public health and public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency and can be covered by the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The funds that have been utilized for the town were applied to cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, upgrading laptops for those in need, enclosing the utility room, and a camera for the fire department.
Town Manager Jonathon Cripe said air purifiers at the Regions Building may be premature. The project is scheduled out quite a bit and the furnaces may need to be upgraded for efficiency.
Council Member Pat Berger questioned if the council would like to discuss air purifiers for the Depot since it is rented to the general public. He also requested that the council re-evaluate air purifiers for the Regions Building when work begins.
The board agreed that purifiers should be considered for the Depot and motioned to approve the installation of the purifier at the town hall, as well as up to $2,400 be utilized for the Depot purifiers and apply the balance to police salaries.
In other business:
- Tri-County High School is exploring the possibility of connecting to the town’s water system. The White County Commissioners approved the request.
- Remington Main Street is writing grants for Christmas lights on the Depot. Cripe requested a donation of $250 from the Town Council to be applied toward the purchase of the lights. The council approved the request.