2020 Year End Review
In late 2019, Canaan Township went live with their new website canaantwp.org. The website is a way for the residents of Canaan Township to keep informed of what is happening in the township and provides a newsroom, meeting minutes, history of Canaan Township, policies, building rental, and audit and financial information. Residents may also contact the township through the website with any questions or concerns.
The year 2020 started out like any other year and was filled with great promise. In early February, Trustee John Bayles was able to attend the OTA Winter Conference in Columbus. The conference offered a lot of vendors and training sessions. Mr. Bayles was able to attend a session on OPWC funding and ethics, to name a few.
As we all know, March arrived and we found ourselves in a full-blown Pandemic. Something that many of us have never experienced before! The guidance and restrictions that came at us all in 2020 were often times confusing and conflicting. The April monthly meeting was canceled along with many other community meetings, activities, and schools.
In March 2020, U.S. lawmakers agreed to pass a $2 trillion stimulus bill called the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act to blunt the impact of an economic downturn set in motion by the global coronavirus pandemic. It was late summer and early fall before the townships were given any sort of information on being eligible for CARES Act funds. The application process was confusing at best and the deadline to apply was October 15, 2020.The trustees spent much time and discussion on whether to apply for the funds but ultimately were not comfortable with doing so. The short notice and lack of guidance as well as confusion on the audit process required should we receive the funds were several of the reasons. Other townships, as well, were hesitant about receiving the funds.It was soon realized that everything about this pandemic was “new” and getting solid and accurate information that was constantly changing was a challenge at best.
In May, the township received guidance that we could resume in person meetings, but that the meetings should be confined only to those items necessary and essential for current operations and services. At the May meeting, the trustees voted to put the renewal of the existing 2.5 mill fire levy on the fall ballot. The levy is set to expire at the end of 2020.
In June, the township received guidance that, because of the pandemic, appropriations should be reduced by 20% in the Gas Tax Fund and the Motor Vehicle Fund. This reduction was to reflect the anticipated decrease in revenue due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
July brought the good news that funding was approved for the OPWC grant project this year. Canaan Township has applied for and received OPWC grant money to assist in road improvements for seven out of the past nine years. The OPWC project this year was the Township Road 60 Road Improvement, Phase II.This allowed the township to pave Township Road 60 one mile north of County Road 27 to Township Road 135. The improvements included replacing an existing culvert, widening the road, and applying a new road surface. Small’s Asphalt Paving, the winning bidder, completed this work. Last year, OPWC Township Road 60 Road Improvement, Phase I, allowed the township to replace culverts, widen the road, and pave one mile north and one mile south of State Route 95. In November, the township submitted the application for funds for Phase III. If the OPWC Township Road 60 Road Improvement, Phase III Project is approved next year, the entire 5 miles that make up Canaan Township Road 60 will be newly widened and paved. The township trustees are thankful for these grant monies to assist in improving and paving the 21 miles of township roads in Canaan Township.
Other roadwork for the season included the paving of Canaan Township Roads 61, 62, and 64. This was a total of almost 2 miles of roads. Canaan Township piggybacked off the county bid again this year and Mid-Ohio Paving paved these roads for the township.
In November, the voters of Canaan Township passed the fire levy renewal with 163 residents voting for the levy and 101 residents voting against the levy.
The township received from the Ohio BWC two dividend checks this year, totaling $1,383.00 in response to the pandemic. A third dividend of $2,363 is expected to be received in December from Ohio BWC. The township was also granted a pass on the 2nd quarter UAN fees, a savings of $618.00. The MORE Grant from OTARMA totaling $500 was received and used for tree removal in the cemeteries and along the roadways of the township. Every little bit has helped in this strange year.
As 2020 comes to a close, we are grateful for our township and the great community we live in. We wish you all a safe and healthy new year and are looking forward to a better 2021!