Sheriff hesitant about using virus aid


CELINA – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey on Tuesday was reluctant to commit to the idea of covering some of his staff’s payroll and insurance expenses with COVID-19 funds, saying it would be difficult for him to justify such a move with his office’s operations having changed only slightly amid the pandemic.   County commissioners have faced difficulty pinpointing expenses eligible for reimbursement through federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act dollars funneled through the state. Unspent funds must be returned, they said.

The county government has received three disbursements of CARES Act funds totaling $5.03 million, authorized through Ohio House Bill 481 and House Bill 614. Of that total, $2.66 million went to political subdivisions within the county and $2.37 million stayed in county coffers, according to Kim Everman, county administrator and clerk of the board of commissioners.