STEUBENVILLE - Ohio Public Works Director Michael Miller said allowing the state's 19 development districts to prioritize projects helps ensure funding goes where it's most needed in each region.
Miller told members of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association attending Wednesday's executive board meeting held at Steubenville Country Club, that the local decision-making process "allows those districts to develop the methodology to develop what their regional needs are and put them at the top of the list of projects we work on."
OMEGA encompasses Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties.
OMEGA MEETING — The Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association held its executive board meeting Wednesday at the Steubenville Country Club. Ohio Public Works Director Michael Miller spoke about prioritizing projects to help determine where funding goes. - Linda Harris
"It's not a one-size-fits-all project selection process," he told members of OMEGA attending Wednesdays's executive board meeting. "It gives quite a bit of flexibility to all 19 development districts."
The Ohio Public Works Commission administers two infrastructure programs - the State Capitol Improvement Program, which allows the Buckeye State to use its general revenues to back up to $150 million annually in general obligation bonds, and the Local Transportation Improvement Program, which sets aside roughly $52 million a year from gas tax receipts for road and bridge projects.
It also oversees the Clean Ohio Conservation Green Space Program, which includes the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program and the Clean Ohio Trails Fund.
Miller said only improvements to roads, bridges, culverts, water supply systems, wastewater systems, storm water collection systems and solid waste disposal facilities are eligible for funding via the state Capital Improvement Program. Funding is on a per capita basis, with grants available for up to 90 percent of the total project cost for repairs and replacements, or up to 50 percent for new or expanded infrastructure.
Another $15 million per program year is earmarked for a related Capitol Improvement Program that assists villages and townships with populations of 5,000 or less. Funding also is available through the State Capital Improvement Program to assist with emergency situations, as well as a revolving loan program.
T.I.P., meanwhile, allows counties, cities, villages and townships with road and bridge needs to apply for grants of up to 100 percent of the project cost.
Public Works is slated to release nearly $10 million in funding on July 1 for approved projects in the 10 OMEGA member counties. More than $3.6 million was approved through the T.I.P. program for 18 road and bridge projects in the region with a total estimated cost of more than $7.6 million, plus another $5.8 million earmarked for 26 projects through the State Capitol Improvements Program, with a total estimated cost of nearly $10.7 million.