GREEN As cities continue to respond almost daily to the COVID-19 pandemic, Green City Council on March 24 modified the city’s 2020 budget appropriations to include funding for computer network upgrades and an “emergency contingency” related to actions taken in response to the pandemic.

The appropriations, totaling a little more than $1 million, included $50,000 in computer network repairs and upgrades, including increased security measures for city employees forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and $15,000 for COVID-19 emergency contingency efforts.

Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said a portion of the emergency contingency appropriation has been included in the city’s budgets for a number of years.

“We have (budgeted) $10,000 for emergencies, but have never used it,” he said. “We are using it now.”

Contingency efforts thus far have included targeted emails and postcards, along with ads in local media outlets, providing information on the COVID-19-related resources in the city.

The appropriation legislation also included an $18,478 washer-extractor machine in the Fire Department, partially funded through a $15,000 grant; as well as 337,000 budgeted from the street maintenance and repair fund, and $613,000 from the state highway improvement fund, both related to right of way acquisition for the city’s estimated $15 million Massillon-Road north corridor project.

In other action, council:

• Established the Green Auto Mile Special Revenue Fund, a pass-through fund required by the Ohio Auditor’s Office, which will be used to collect advertising fees from auto dealerships on the Green Auto Mile. The fees will then be passed out of the fund to Triad Marketing and Media. City Council also approved a contract between the city and Triad to provide specialized marketing services to the Green Auto Mile. Neugebauer said the partnership will allow the dealers on the auto mile to “compete regionally.”

• Authorized the city to apply for a $23,121 Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation grant to partially fund a $30,800 automatic truck chassis wash machine in the service department.

• Amended the city’s contract with Kimble Companies to allow the full amount of recycling participation funds received by Kimble or other contracted recycling aggregate providers to be used for community grants. The contract had previously stated that only 50 percent of the recycling funds could be used for the grant program.

March 22 special meeting

At a special emergency meeting March 22, Council also approved a temporary resolution granting the mayor the “necessary flexibility to address the operational impact of the public health emergency created by the COVID-19 coronavirus, for the mayor’s administration and departments and for the (Green) department of law.

This resolution is in effective through June 1.