State of the GarrettsvilleStrong Fund

The GarrettsvilleStrong fund was established by the Chamber of Commerce to raise funds which will be utilized to facilitate the rebuilding of the block in downtown Garrettsville affected by the fire March 22, 2014.

Since March 24, 2014 over $99,750.80 has been raised to defray reconstruction efforts. In August of 2015, $3,778.58 was released to the Carlson Family. The amount was deducted from their share of the initial $50,000 disbursement and was used to offset refurbishment expenses (windows/awnings) of the former Mishler Building.

As of October 1, 2022, $95,970.80 remains available for distribution to the four property owners. The fund report details how the account balance is allocated:

How Does the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund Work?

  • Monies will be made available to the property owners of record at the time of  monetary request for the sole use of building.
  • Funds shall be governed by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors according to the rules outlined in this document. 
  • Any board member that may have a personal or vested interest in the properties of record insomuch as they would benefit from the awarding of monies to the property owner(s) or be related to the property owner(s) of record shall recuse themselves from any votes. 
  • Each Current Property Owner (defined below) shall receive a letter stating how the funds will be allocated, how payments shall be processed and options should the owner decide not to rebuild.
  • Funds can be used as leverage for matching funds grants however funds in the #GarrettsvilleStrong account shall not be used to pay for grant writers. 

Applicant Eligibility

  • Must be record owner of the property consistent with the Portage County real property records (the “Current Property Owner”).
  • Must be building on the property.
  • Should the Current Property Owner decide to sell their property, the rights to their share of the #GarrettsvilleStrong fund will follow the property. 

Use of Funds

Monies shall be used for the rebuilding of the property, inclusive of, but not limited to:

  • Infrastructure Needs – to include but are not limited to sewage, water, gas and electrical systems
  • Permits & Fees
  • Architectural Drawings
  • Building Materials – to include but are not limited to wood, flooring, shingles, paint, windows, doors, carpet and tile.
  • Signage
  • Contractor Payments
  • Matching grant leverage

Fund Distribution

  • The first round of allocations will be based on the anticipated balance on June 1, 2014 of $50,000 in the GarrettsvilleStrong fund. 
  • Monies raised beyond the $50,000 will be allocated using the same formula as the initial allocation.
  • Monies will be allocated based on the ground level lot size per the Portage County auditors office tax map.
  • Current Property Owner’s will fill out an application for funds form. Request will be logged and approved by GarrettsvilleStrong Board. 
  • Checks will be made payable to the vendor / contractor or direct to property owner as reimbursement upon receipt of an invoice showing proof of payment and once construction work for the amount allocated has been completed and lien releases are obtained.
  • At the request of Current Property Owner(s) the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce will provide a letter of intent for the allocation of funds for the rebuilding of their property. This letter can be used as proof that funds are committed to the rebuilding of property owned by Current Property Owner(s). 
  • Monies that have not been specifically allocated by June 30, 2016 will be reviewed and may be placed back into trust for further consideration. At the discretion of the Board, The Board may extend the June 30, 2016 deadline while property owner is in the process of rebuilding or has shown a good faith attempt at selling said property. (At the January 2018 Board Meeting, the Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to continue holding the funds in trust in perpetuity.)
  • The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors reserves the right to make all final decisions concerning allocation of the funds in the GarrettsvilleStrong fund.

To read the full Bylaw pertaining to the GarrettsvilleStrong fund please visit and visit the “Documents” section.