Dayton distributes last of $17.4M COVID relief funds

After approving millions of dollars in grants to nonprofit and community groups this week, the city of Dayton has distributed $17.4 million in federal coronavirus relief funding since the pandemic began.

But the city’s hopes of getting another large injection of federal CARES Act money have faded because the 29 other Montgomery County communities that received allocations are expected to spend nearly all of their money.

“Every jurisdiction that we have talked to has indicated that they plan to use the entirety of their CARES Act funds,” said Mike Brill, the communications and community engagement manager with the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office. “There are only a handful of jurisdictions we have not heard back from yet, and we expect to hear from them later this week.”

On Wednesday night, Dayton City Commission approved awarding $3 million to 19 arts and cultural organizations and $1.5 million to 22 community nonprofits.

Applications for relief funding were reviewed and scored by a third-party evaluation team, and all 41 requests were deemed eligible and received awards, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

The money will help local groups during the pandemic continue services and operations despite revenue shortages, launch new programs that serve the community and reimburse costs for facilities and safety upgrades meant to fight the spread of the virus, Dickstein said.

The evaluation criteria considered organizations’ community impact, financial stability and presence in the city, she said.

“The objective process met our goal of being impactful to these organizations and our community, and ensured a fair and equitable distribution of funds, Dickstein said.

Between the two grant programs, nearly half of the applicants received the full amount of money they requested, she said.

Some of the top recipients of the cultural relief funding were the Dayton Dragons (awarded $300,000), the Dayton Society of Natural History ($298,448), the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance ($294,478) and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. ($290,507).

The largest awards for nonprofits will go to Daybreak Inc. ($107,203), Equitas Health ($107,203), YWCA ($103,771) and Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence ($102,677).

Many nonprofits have struggled during the pandemic because they are seeing increased demand for their services, even though giving has declined and there are fewer opportunities for fundraising events.

Arts and cultural organizations have had to cancel countless concerts, plays, musicals and other events, and some venues and groups have not reopened their doors since closing in mid-March.

The city commission on Wednesday also approved a resolution declaring that first-responders including police and fire workers are critical to mitigating and responding to the coroanvirus pandemic.

The resolution says up to $15 million of its current and future public safety payrolls should be eligible for CARES Act reimbursement. The city says it wants to use any current, additional or remaining federal stimulus funds to help cover some these costs.

Dickstein said the commission’s approvals on Wednesday night means the city has met the legislative deadline for spending or encumbering its three rounds of CARES Act funds.

But the city hoped if it could spent all of its money, it might be in line for a nice chunk of leftover and unspent funding.

In the last funding round, the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office distributed about $6.6 million to local communities.

Funds that are not spent or encumbered by today (Friday) are supposed to be returned to the auditor.

Dayton will be eligible for additional money, but except for Perry Twp., no other jurisdiction has indicated they will be unable to spend all of distributions, said Brill, with the auditor’s office.

Perry Township did not request its funding ― nearly $167,000 ― so the auditor’s office never sent it out, Brill said.

“At this point, we expect to have very little funding to redistribute,” he said. “But they (Dayton) will at least receive a very small amount of additional funds, because we will definitely be redistributing Perry Twp.’s portion.”

Arts and cultural groups that received funding include:

Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC (Dayton Dragons), $300,000

Dayton Society of Natural History (Boonshoft Museum, SunWatch Indian Village), $298,448

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, $294,478

Dayton Contemporary Dance Co., $290,507

Victoria Theatre Association (Dayton Live), $278,595

The Dayton Art Institute, $266,483

K12 Gallery for Young People, $158,824

The Human Race Inc. (theater company), $158,824

Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton, $154,853

CultureWorks, $146,912

Dayton Movies Inc. (The Neon) $138,511

The Muse Machine Inc., $136,915

Women’s Club of Dayton Foundation, $119,118

The Contemporary Dayton (formerly Dayton Visual Arts Center), $100,000

Dayton International Peace Museum, $68,167

Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra Inc., $46,430

Shango: Center for the Study of African-American Art and Culture, $18,257

The Dayton Playhouse Inc., $14,680

Dayton Theatre Guild Inc., $9,800

Community organizations that received funding:

Daybreak Inc., $107,203

Equitas Health, $107,203

YWCA, $103,771

Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence, $102,677

Set the Banquet Table (Miami Valley Meals), $88,041

YMCA, $80,947

Rebuilding Together Dayton Inc., $80,920

Humane Society of Greater Dayton, $79,231

WestCare Ohio, $77,802

OneFifteen Recovery, $77,515

Crossover Community Development, $74,055

Greater Dayton Union Cooperative Initiative, $61,785

Dayton Public Radio (Discover Classical), $60,800

Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton, $52,000

Clothes That Work, $56,636

The Grandview Foundation, $50,014

Dayton Public Access Television Inc., $50,000

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, $50,000

Miami Valley Community Action Partnership, $50,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley, $30,400

Bike Miami Valley, $30,000

House of Bread, $29,000

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