Martin Twp. joins Confused about Covid-19 Relief Club

Eddie Oetman

The Martin Township Board joined the Confused by Covid Relief Club Wednesday evening, but Clerk Rachelle Smit agreed to send in the application for funding.

Smit told board colleagues, “I don’t know what we could use the money on. Some townships will be opting out (of the funding) because they weren’t financially impacted. ”

But Trustee John Schipper suggested, “We should apply for it because we can always turn it down later.”

He added that the money can be used for water, sewer and broadband Internet.

Other area township boards also are grappling with what to do in applying and have expressed frustration with the confusion over how to obtain it and what can be done with it.

The American Rescue Plan was approved by the U.S. House and Senate last spring in an effort to help local municipalities with costs associated with the Covid-19 viral pandemic.

In other business at the meeting Wednesday, the Township Board:

  • Voted 4-0, with Supervisor Glenn Leep absent, to return the $5,000 grant the township won from the Center for Technology and Civic Life because the sponsor was Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
  • Was told that the late Eddie Oetman, a Martin firefighter, had willed $5,000 to the department and Chief Kurt Knight made a deal with the township to share costs to buy a new Lucas 3 device. Oetman’s grant, plus some department leftover funds will more than match the township’s contribution to buy the device, which is estimated to cost $15,500.

Oetman, a native of Martin, died in June at the age of 81.

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