CHILLICOTHE- The Village of South Salem, located in Western Ross County, will distribute boxes full of triple-layer disposable masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and sanitary wipes after receiving a $10,000 grant from the state of Ohio.
The grant is through the CARES act.
About 150 masks will be distributed to each household, said South Salem Mayor Dennis Crouse.
Boxes will be distributed at The Academy Building in South Salem from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Residents will have to sign for the items.
The Academy is a former Presbyterian college turned meeting hall in the village.
“We’re trying to get masks and gloves to every individual in the village, which is kind of hard to do because of the COVID,” he said. “We’ve been kind of slow in distributing those things, but we have boxes made up, we have the gloves and mask and hand sanitizer in the box and we are distributing them that way.”
This will help residents to buy crucial supplies, said Vicky Smith, village councilwoman.
“There’s a lot of residents who can’t afford to buy facemasks and sanitizer and gloves – they don’t have a lot of extra money in their budget,” she said. “We’re just trying to keep everyone safe, and we thought since we applied for this money, we should put it to good use, and help the residents.”
The latest grant was one of several distributions the village has received over the last several months, said Crouse.
To date, South Salem has received about $33,000 in CARES act money. said Joe Smith, the former village clerk who wrote the grants.
The largest of those grants was for $13,000, allowing the village to purchase new heating and cooling systems equipped with an ultraviolet light technology that purifies the air for The Academy.
The building is periodically rented out for gatherings that require a large space, and the new heating and cooling system will allow them to return to doing so with social distancing still practiced, said Krista Crouse, village councilwoman.
The grants have been very beneficial to the village, said the mayor. “We’ve had several financial cutbacks, from the 2008 economy and COVID, and we’ve had money that’s normally been distributed to us but hasn’t been coming in- the grants have really helped us balance our budget,” he said.
Other goals with grant money had included buying hand sanitizer, a temperature scanning machine, thermometers, 100 lanyards, and a backpack power washer for Buckskin Elementary School on Broadway Street in South Salem. The lanyards are used for students to clip their masks on when eating or at recess.
However, only the power washer and the lanyards ended up being purchased with grant money, according to Smith. The temperature scanning machine was purchased by the township, he said.
The village has also purchased hand sanitizer stands for the Academy Building.