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Governor DeWine awards $93M in Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants

Published By The Highland County Press on October 26, 2021
Brian Baldridge In The News

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted Tuesday announced the first round of water infrastructure grant funding awarded as part of a new, statewide initiative to help build a stronger foundation for improved quality of life for Ohio's families and continued economic growth for Ohio's communities. 

A total of $250 million in grant funding will be invested in water infrastructure projects as part of the new Ohio BUILDS initiative. The first round of water infrastructure grants announced Tuesday awards $93 million to 54 projects that impact communities in 60 Ohio counties.

Area projects include:

• Jeffersonville (Fayette County, House District 92- Rep. Mark Johnson, Senate District 17- Senator Bob Peterson) will receive a $71,000 grant to replace the existing deficient ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system with a new UV system. The project will benefit 1,203 people.

• Sardinia (Brown County, House District 66- Rep. Adam Bird, Senate District 14- Senator Terry Johnson) will receive a $147,763 grant to upgrade and replace aging water meters within the village to alleviate the risk of cross-contamination in the water system. The project will also help reduce customer costs by catching leaks early with a remote monitoring system. The project will benefit 1,144 people.

• Scioto County Regional Water District No. 1 (Scioto County, House District 90- Rep. Brian Baldridge, Senate District 14- Senator Terry Johnson) will receive a $1.02 million grant to move one water storage tank and replace another water storage tank. These tanks are both in danger
of failing due to an ongoing landslide under and downhill of the tank. If the landslide progresses before the tanks can be relocated/replaced it would completely jeopardize the district's ability to produce and distribute potable water to the majority of rural Scioto County. The project also includes adding the necessary infrastructure required to tie the new proposed tank site into the existing infrastructure. This project will benefit 30,000 people.

The remainder of the water infrastructure grants will be awarded in the coming weeks and will ultimately impact communities in every county in Ohio.

Funds awarded will help reduce or eliminate the local financial burden associated with critical infrastructure needs such as the construction of new water systems, the replacement of aging water lines, and the installation new water mains. Grants will also fund projects to prevent sewer system backups and replace failing household sewage treatment systems with new sewers.

"These grants are about strengthening our future, our people and our communities," said Governor DeWine. "We want our kids and grandkids to stay in Ohio, and clean water is essential to the health and future of our state. Protecting and ensuring that every community in Ohio has access to safe and clean water has been our mission from the start, and with these grants, we are continuing our mission to provide access to economic development tools that will help communities grow and thrive well into the future."

“From the beginning of our administration, Governor DeWine and I have made water quality and protecting our natural resources in Ohio a priority, but water quality isn’t just about the environment and our health, it’s also about our economic future,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Investing this one-time money we have on infrastructure will improve our quality of life today and protect it for future generations.”

The new Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants are a continuation of Governor DeWine's H2Ohio initiative, which launched in 2019 to focus on ensuring plentiful, clean and safe water for communities across the state. In addition to investing in strategies to reduce algal blooms on Lake Erie and other bodies of water statewide, H2Ohio has also awarded $15 million in grants for water infrastructure projects. 

Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) will focus not only on strengthening Ohio's communities through water infrastructure upgrades, but it will also make other necessary investments in targeted solutions that impact quality of life such as broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings and more.  

The Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants announced today were funded by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 168, sponsored by State Representatives Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), with funding that was appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Ohio BUILDS grant programs for broadband expansion, blighted building demolition, and brownfield redevelopment are funded in Ohio's current operating budget.

Additional announcements regarding Ohio BUILDS projects that will strategically invest to transform lives and strengthen Ohio's future will be made in the coming months. 

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