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Governor DeWine announces millions in support for critical water infrastructure projects

Ohio Governor's Office, Press Release

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik Friday announced $122.7 million in grant awards to help improve water infrastructure in 59 counties.

The funding is part of the sixth round of the Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program. Funding will provide $84.5 million in support of 43 new critical infrastructure projects and $38.2 million in gap funding for 33 previously funded projects with costs that exceeded initial estimates.

Since 2021, the Ohio BUILDS Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program has provided a total of nearly $620 million to support hundreds of local water projects in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.

“The investments we've made through this program have been transformational in many Ohio communities,” said Governor DeWine. “The projects we're funding are about more than new pipes — they're about protecting the health and wellbeing of Ohioans across the state.”

The grants announced Friday will help reduce or eliminate the financial burden community leaders face in addressing critical infrastructure needs such as new water distribution systems, waterline extensions, water tower replacements, and new pipes and water mains. Grants will also fund projects to replace sanitary sewer systems, prevent sewer system backups and extend sewer lines to support economic growth.

“Investments in our communities’ infrastructure are key to expanding sites for new businesses and housing that the people who work at these businesses will need to live and thrive,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This program is a key part of our efforts to ensure every community has the foundation in place to improve the quality of life to make Ohio a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Local projects include:

• The Village of Beaver (Pike County) will receive a $2,137,163 grant to complete water system improvements. The village recently lost its emergency water supplier; once water was shut off, the village experienced problems with its existing two wells. Part of this project will help village meet Ohio EPA compliance by replacing existing pumps, rehabilitating the current wells, and drilling for a third. Additional project activities include adding another pressure filter, rehabilitating existing filters and replacing the roof. The project will benefit 442 people.  
• The Adams County Board of Commissioners will receive a $2,969,440 grant to complete sanitary sewer improvements in the Cherry Fork area. This area was deemed a public health nuisance by the Ohio EPA. Homes in the area are currently served by on-site septic systems and are required to connect to public sewers. Project activities include installing 4,250 feet of sewer line, which will be pumped into the village of Winchester’s sewer system. This will serve as the regional wastewater treatment facility for northern Adams County. The project will benefit 225 people.    
• The Village of Mount Orab (Brown County) will receive a $5 million grant to construct an expansion to the village’s existing wastewater treatment plant. Project activities associated with the expansion include a new clarifier, conversion of the existing equalization basin to a newly activated sludge basin, a new emergency generator, UV disinfection, an effluent flow metering facility and electrical and piping work. The project will benefit 4,200 people.   
• The City of Washington Court House (Fayette County) will receive a $5 million grant to complete improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Project activities include replacing the influent pump station, installing new grit-handling equipment, improvements to the primary settling tanks and aeration tanks, blower rehabilitation, replacing the secondary clarifier and return activated sludge system, adding a new UV disinfection facility, improvements to existing equalization tanks and more. The project will benefit 14,400 people.

A complete list of Ohio BUILDS Water Infrastructure Project summaries can be found at….

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were appropriated by the Ohio General Assembly and awarded through three rounds in October, November, and December 2021, as well as rounds in June and July 2023. The sixth round of funding was made possible through continued support from the Ohio General Assembly in the current operating budget. The Department of Development administers the program.

The program received 703 grant applications for this round, requesting more than $1.4 billion in funding, demonstrating the continued need for water infrastructure improvements across the state.

“Whenever I travel the state, I’m inevitably greeted by Ohioans who share the transformative impact water/wastewater projects have had on their communities,” said Director Mihalik. “But our work is far from over, and thanks to Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and our partners in the Ohio General Assembly, we have the opportunity to create sustainable solutions in even more parts of the state.”

In addition to water infrastructure upgrades, Ohio BUILDS strategically invests in a broad range of projects to improve quality of life and support economic growth, such as broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings and more.

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