GENEVA — Geneva City Council approved a cooperative plan with Community Action to help residents struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Council unanimously approved using $20,000 of CARES Act money to assist families through a program to be run through Community Action. Interested residents should contact Community Action at 440-997-5957 to apply.

The applicants will need a photo identification, proof of Geneva residence, statement of how the virus has affected them, copy of their most recent utility bill, an eviction notice from a landlord or a past-due mortgage notice from a financial institution, according to a flyer to be available for area residents.

Acting City Manager Tammy Shuttleworth said the program will hopefully help 10 families from the city. Several city council people thanked her for the work in putting the program together.

Geneva Council President Philip Cordova said the city is still in negotiation with a city manager candidate and hopes to have things wrapped up by the next meeting. Council met following the regular meeting during an executive session to discuss employment of a public employee but did not take action following the session.

City council members also passed a resolution (5-2) declaring racism a public health crisis. The two-page resolution highlights a “long-standing” history of racism against African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and people of color. The resolution passed with Bill Buskirk, Cynthia Miller, Jeffery Griffiths, Dana Shenk and Mario Butera in favor and Robert Rosebrugh and Cordova opposed.

It also details disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases and mortality, poverty and other challenges.

“This Council does hereby declare racism a public health crisis, and supports equitable policies to inform our public discourse on racism in the city of Geneva,” the resolution states. It also states the council intends to improve the quality of life and  health of minority residents. 

In other business the city approved trick-or-treat for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The city also created a flyer for families detailing proper handling of trick-or-treat, including social distancing practices and the importance of candy being packaged and people distributing with masks and gloves at each house participating.

Jennifer Cecil, clerk-treasurer, gave a financial report indicating city financing revenues are on pace to be at the $2.55 million planned for the city budget but without extra funds that have been available the last several years. She said budget discussions with department heads are underway. A finance committee meeting is scheduled later this month and the budget will be available for three readings and it will be passed by mid-December so city workers can get paid at the start of the new year.

Shuttleworth said CARES ACT funding is still being evaluated by department heads. She said a Coastal Management Assistance Grant pre-application is being prepared by Phyllis and Nick Dunlap and would potentially provide half the funds needed for a comprehensive storm water study.

City council unanimously approved a resolution to allow the Ohio Department of Transportation, at its cost, to replace signs on Route 20 and Route 84.

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