Last week, state officials announced grant awards totaling $135 million that will support 90 critical water infrastructure projects in 64 counties throughout the state.

These grants are part of the fifth round of the Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) water infrastructure program. Since its inception, the program has provided nearly $500 million to support 343 local water projects impacting each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

One those projects is here in Galion (details below), with another taking place in Bucyrus.

“From the first dollar awarded through this program to now, we’ve made hundreds of transformative investments in the future of our communities,” said Governor DeWine. “Having a strong water infrastructure not only safeguards the health and well-being of our residents, but it makes our neighborhoods more resilient and better prepares local leaders for sustainable economic growth.”

The grants will help reduce or eliminate the financial burden community leaders face regarding 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 system backups, and extend sewer lines to support economic growth.

“This additional round of funding will help communities from one corner of the state to the next replace aging, overwhelmed infrastructure, ensuring that Ohioans have access to clean drinking water,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “These projects will not only greatly improve the quality of life for residents in these areas, but they also boost economic growth related to business expansion and housing development.”

The DeWine-Husted Administration launched the Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure program in 2021 as 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 total, nearly $1.3 billion has been dedicated to the initiative.

The first three rounds of the program, awarded in October 2021, November 2021, and December 2021, were funded with $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) appropriated by the 134th Ohio General Assembly. Both the previous and current rounds of this award were funded through an additional $250 million in ARPA dollars appropriated by the legislature through House Bill 45, which was signed by Governor DeWine in January 2023.

“Businesses that choose to set up shop in Ohio do so, in large part, because of the generational investments we’ve made in local infrastructure,” said Director Mihalik. “Through the vision of Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, and the support of our state legislature, we’re creating more opportunities for communities large and small to be Ohio’s next great economic success story.”

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.

Additional information on the Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program, including announcements from previous rounds, can be found on the program webpage.

The City of Galion will receive a $600,000 grant to install a lift station and back-up generator at the wastewater treatment plant. The project will benefit 10,450 people.

The City of Bucyrus will receive a $1,282,500 grant for a water service connections project. The project will consist of installing water service connections on new waterline projects outside of the corporation limits for projects within Crawford County that connect to the Bucyrus Public Water System. The project will benefit 250 people.

Source: State of Ohio; Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay