The Ohio House has approved legislation to help communities refinance local infrastructure projects to help save money, State Representative Shane Wilkin announced Monday.

“This is a common sense bill,” Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) said. “It makes government more effective and efficient and helps reduce costs.”

The legislation was unanimously approved by the House.



The bill will allow the Ohio Water Development Authority to refinance loans when interest rates drop. Currently, the state agency is only allowed to finance projects. The agency helps local governments throughout the state with environmental infrastructure financing.

Wilkin said the idea for the issue stems from his days as a Highland County commissioner.

The measure earned widespread support from state and local officials, including the Ohio Municipal League and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. It now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

In 2018, the Ohio Water Development Authority approved loans totaling $943,669,918 for the planning and construction of water, sewer, brownfield remediation and solid waste facilities. OWDA funded 380 projects in 84 of the 88 counties in Ohio. These projects replaced aging infrastructure, expanded capacity of treatment plants and installed technology for better water quality.
 
State Rep. Wilkin represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton, Highland and Pike counties and part of Ross County.