DeWine awards $93 million in Ohio BUILDS Water Infrastructure Grants

Staff report

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Oct. 26 the first round of water infrastructure grant funding awarded as part of a new, statewide initiative to help build a stronger foundation for improved quality of life for Ohio’s families and continued economic growth for Ohio’s communities.

On Oct. 27, Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, made a visit to the Village of Palestine to deliver the award of Ohio BUILDS funding to the Palestine-Hollansburg Joint Sewer District (Darke County, House District 80-Rep. Jena Powell, Senate District 5-Sen. Steve Huffman). The district will receive $1.5 million to construct a regional centralized wastewater system to serve the incorporated villages of Palestine and Hollansburg as well as the unincorporated area of Glen Karn and the corridor in between these entities located in Harrison and Liberty Townships. The project will eliminate failing household sewage treatment systems. The project will serve 561 people. These funds will save the beneficiaries of the wastewater system $15.00 a month by reducing the user fee for the sewer service. Members of the Sewer District Board along with the Darke County Commissioners met with Ms. Mahlik to discuss the project. Additional funding from other sources of $7.5 million in grants will be combined for construction of the system which will begin in January 2022.

A total of $250 million in grant funding will be invested in water infrastructure projects as part of the new Ohio BUILDS initiative. The first round of water infrastructure grants announced awards $93 million to 54 projects that impact communities in 60 Ohio counties. The remainder of the water infrastructure grants will be awarded in the coming weeks and will ultimately impact communities in every county in Ohio.

Funds awarded today will help reduce or eliminate the local financial burden associated with critical infrastructure needs such as the construction of new water systems, the replacement of aging water lines, and the installation new water mains. Grants will also fund projects to prevent sewer system backups and replace failing household sewage treatment systems with new sewers.

“These grants are about strengthening our future, our people, and our communities,” said Gov. DeWine. “We want our kids and grandkids to stay in Ohio, and clean water is essential to the health and future of our state. Protecting and ensuring that every community in Ohio has access to safe and clean water has been our mission from the start, and with these grants, we are continuing our mission to provide access to economic development tools that will help communities grow and thrive well into the future.”