Ohio Public Works Commission allots $8.2M in state money
By KALEA hall
Many Mahoning Valley communities will realize the proceeds of $8.2 million in state money to be distributed for public works projects in 2014.
These projects include street resurfacing, sewer and waterline improvements, bridge replacement, and a water tower, among others.
But before the District 6 Public Works Integrating Committee voted Tuesday on which communities would receive the money, a discussion about including more communities took place.
All of the communities with a score of 69 and above will receive Ohio Public Works Commission funds. But some committee members asked the others to consider including the communities with a score of 67.
Townships “are so limited on sources of funds,” said Tom Costello, Boardman Township trustee and member of the committee. “I know where we have to look for money and this is one of our few” options.
In the end, the committee kept the score of 69 and allotted more than $8.2 million in grant funds to 30 different projects.
The communities awarded funds Tuesday will receive them in July 2014.
The state recommends that each district exceed its budget by 15 percent. The committee, though, exceeded its budget by about 30 percent. Concessions were made by several communities in an effort to lower the bubble.
“The reason they [the state] did that is, if a project is finished under budget, that money gets turned back in to the state and goes into the District 6 account,” said Tim Yova, director of comprehensive planning for Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, which administrates the OPWC project for District 6. District 6 includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
In addition to the communities receiving grant funds, a little more than $2 million in loan funds at a 0 percent interest rate were given to Mahoning and Trumbull counties, Canfield Township, Cortland and potentially the city of Canfield.
Yova said more communities can come forward to ask for an OPWC loan.
Hubbard Township, Lords-town, the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer and Newton Falls, received the highest scores from the committee, which used an 11-criteria ranking process.
Projects from Boardman Township, Beaver Township, Springfield Township, Canfield Township, Canfield and Bazetta Township all went unfunded. But Canfield Township has requested a loan and Canfield may also request a loan.
Some of the small governments with a population of fewer than 5,000 have a better chance at receiving funds from the state through the Small Governments Capital Improvements Commission.
The committee selected five projects, including two from Sebring, and one each from Fowler Township, New Middletown and Farmington Township.
Two other projects from Sebring and Bloomfield were selected as alternates.
For the complete list of projects, read today's print or digital editions.