A business owner in John Day shared her concerns regarding the city’s use of COVID-19 relief funds and why the funds were not offered to businesses or community members. “Etc. A Unique Boutique” business owner Sherry Rininger said she felt the city could have done better with the relief funds and that the city could have helped the businesses. The state awarded John Day with $52,796 in COVID-19 relief funds, which was used on city hall, broadband support at Humbolt Elementary School and food security initiatives. “Yes, the broadband to Humbolt (Elementary School) was important, and I’m not taking away from that,” Riniger said, “but I really think that this city has to think about their businesses and residents.” Rininger said she felt like the city using relief funds for business owners would go a long way for their constituents, if more funds were received in the future. Councilor Shannon Adair said, when the city received the relief funds, there was a wide range of what the money could be used for and the city had to think about getting the best return for the community since funds were limited. “To be told we didn’t do anything for our city, I think it’s not accurate because I think that’s all we ever think about,” Adair said. “Our concern at that time was, ‘Are our kids going to have to be online and have decent internet so they can function and continue to learn?’” Mayor Ron Lundbom asked about the organizations that were already available to provide financial relief for businesses through grants and programs. Rininger said the grants were not a guarantee and some people did not receive money to help cover expenses such as utilities. She said she was also lucky to have won the lottery since many grants are awarded on a lottery basis. “All I’m saying is that it needs to be looked at, and it needs to be something considered in the future,” Riniger said of city business relief. Councilor Elliot Sky said, if the city does receive more relief funds, he will bring up this conversation again and discuss how the city could provide support that will help supplement resources already available from the county and other grant programs. Rininger came to the city council as one of three business owners that requested reimbursement for water and sewer bills from the city from March to May.

A business owner in John Day shared her concerns regarding the city’s use of COVID-19 relief funds and why the funds were not offered to businesses or community members.

“Etc. A Unique Boutique” business owner Sherry Rininger said she felt the city could have done better with the relief funds and that the city could have helped the businesses.

The state awarded John Day with $52,796 in COVID-19 relief funds, which was used on city hall, broadband support at Humbolt Elementary School and food security initiatives.

“Yes, the broadband to Humbolt (Elementary School) was important, and I’m not taking away from that,” Riniger said, “but I really think that this city has to think about their businesses and residents.”

Rininger said she felt like the city using relief funds for business owners would go a long way for their constituents, if more funds were received in the future.

Councilor Shannon Adair said, when the city received the relief funds, there was a wide range of what the money could be used for and the city had to think about getting the best return for the community since funds were limited.

“To be told we didn’t do anything for our city, I think it’s not accurate because I think that’s all we ever think about,” Adair said. “Our concern at that time was, ‘Are our kids going to have to be online and have decent internet so they can function and continue to learn?’”

Mayor Ron Lundbom asked about the organizations that were already available to provide financial relief for businesses through grants and programs.

Rininger said the grants were not a guarantee and some people did not receive money to help cover expenses such as utilities. She said she was also lucky to have won the lottery since many grants are awarded on a lottery basis.

“All I’m saying is that it needs to be looked at, and it needs to be something considered in the future,” Riniger said of city business relief.

Councilor Elliot Sky said, if the city does receive more relief funds, he will bring up this conversation again and discuss how the city could provide support that will help supplement resources already available from the county and other grant programs.

Rininger came to the city council as one of three business owners that requested reimbursement for water and sewer bills from the city from March to May.

Locations

Reporter

Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.