Silver Lake will receive $170,000 in COVID-19 aid

Funds will be used to buy technology; mayor says other potential uses being discussed

PHIL KEREN Reporter
Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey delivers his State of the Village address in 2019 inside village hall. Hovey said the village is hoping to use COVID-19 relief money to pay for a new secured entrance to village hall.

SILVER LAKE — The village will receive $170,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money that will help with purchase of technology and possibly an improvement to its government building.

Village Council on July 20 approved legislation to accept $170,000 in Coronavirus Relief Distribution funds that Summit County received through state House Bill 481 and to affirm the village will spend the money only on COVID-19 costs that fit a particular criteria.

According to the legislation, the village must use the money on costs that: are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19; were not accounted for in the village’s most recently approved budget as of March 27; and were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.

Mayor Bernie Hovey said the village is looking to use the money for purchasing laptops for village hall employees so they could work from home (which they are unable to do now), buying iPads for council members and other officials so that video meetings could occur via Zoom or a similar platform. Council is currently meeting via teleconference during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We continue to look at ways that the village can make use of the CARES Act funds available to us,” the mayor said.

Hovey added he is hoping the money can be used to pay for the planned purchase and installation of a security door at village hall. The project will carry a bill of $8,881 and will be done no matter how it’s paid for. 

“[There is] no firm confirmation yet, but [I’ve been] told that CARES [Act] money would be able to be used for the doors,” said Hovey, who added the project is expected to start in the next three to four weeks.

The security door would be located inside the village hall lobby near the mayor’s office and the stairwell that leads into the police department. The door would be locked and visitors would use an intercom system to communicate with building staff, who would press a button to unlock the door. Clerk-Treasurer Sean Housley said the set-up would allow employees “to ask questions and screen” visitors before allowing them to fully enter the building.

In-person meeting planned on Sept. 21

Hovey said village council is planning to have an in-person meeting on Sept. 21 and the session will most likely occur at The Church in Silver Lake, 2951 Kent Road. At that meeting, a public hearing is planned on legislation that would enact new waterfront and riparian setback development standards.

During Monday’s teleconference meeting, Council President Jerry Jones (At Large) told council he would like to work on figuring out how to have in-person council meetings again.

“This is just terrible,” said Jones when talking about the teleconference set-up. “Everybody’s talking over everybody.”

As of Wednesday, Hovey said council’s meetings planned for Aug. 17 and Sept. 8 are still slated to occur via teleconference.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.