CHURUBUSCO — The Town of Churubusco recently partnered with Smith-Green Community Schools, Churubusco Child Care Center and United Methodist Nursery School to help provide them with supplies and equipment to help lessen the spread of COVID-19.
These purchases were made using Coronavirus Relief Funds allotted to the town.
Churubusco Child Care Center received two infrared non-contact forehead thermometers, batteries and 17 touchless soap dispensers for a total of $1,200.
Smith-Green Community Schools received 24 electric pencil sharpeners, 1,300 hand sanitizer backpack clips and two buckets of Aegis bus seat sanitizer for a total of $6,000.
The town gave the United Methodist Nursery School two 1,000-count buckets of hand sanitizing wipes, six bottles of Microban disinfectant cleaner, 10 bottles of hand sanitizer, two infrared non-contact forehead thermometers and batteries for a total of $480.
In addition to these purchases, the Town of Churubusco has requested and received reimbursement for over $52,000 for various COVID related expenses, including $38,000 toward the purchase of six dual-band radios.
Because of Churubusco’s location, the Churubusco Police Department responds to numerous Noble and Allen county calls, but because Whitley County operates on the old VHF radio system and other entities operate under the new 800 megahertz system, CPD is unable to directly communicate with Allen and Noble county officials on their current radios.
“While it has always been an inconvenience for our officers, this back and forth between agencies has become a major issue in the midst of COVID-19,” a news release from Clerk-Treasurer Madalyn Bartl said. “Delays in communications, such as the delays we currently experience, could result in other respondents not being informed of needed precautionary measures for the situation at hand.
“In addition to our officers not being able to communicate with nearby departments, our own EMA utilizes 800 and in public emergencies, our officers, again, have to rely on dispatch to transmit messages. In the time of crisis, dispatch lines and radio chatter should not be jammed with a game of telephone. Purchasing dual-band radios allow our officers to directly communicate with the EMA and free up some of those lines of communication.”
The VHF radios are also unable to utilize the state’s Statewide Mutual Aid, which is accessed via the 800 band.
Other equipment purchased with Coronavirus Relief Funds included respirators for the police department, police overtime, video conferencing software and hardware for required trainings and meetings, and upgrading the Scout Building to allow for that location to hold public meetings.
Thousands have also been reimbursed for cleaning supplies, sanitizers, face masks and more for use at all the town facilities.
The State of Indiana received a direct distribution of Coronavirus Relief Funds from the United States Treasury that may be used for the limited purposes set forth in section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Governor Eric Holcomb made $300 million of these funds available to reimburse certain expenses incurred by Indiana political subdivisions including cities, towns and counties based upon population. Townships seeking reimbursement for eligible COVID-19 expenses have been advised to coordinate with their county government while other political subdivisions coordinate with their enabling body.
Guidance from the federal government requires that each state may only reimburse expenditures directly related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
CRF funds may not be used to offset lost revenues.
The allotments granted to Whitley County subdivisions are as follows:
The Whitley County government has received $1.1 million, the City of Columbia City has received $297,022, Churubusco received $60,442, South Whitley received $57,068 and Larwill was given $9,311.