Mayor Justin Harsha and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik announced Thursday that the city of Hillsboro will receive a $3.2 million grant to help fund critical water projects.
The money will be used to improve storm water control by installing 14,000 linear feet of conduit, 1,500 linear feet of sanitary service line, and 131 catch basins. The project will reduce costs to the city and ensure compliance with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations benefiting 6,534 people, according to figures presented at the grant announcement.
“We want to help the community of Hillsboro by empowering the city to succeed,” said Mihalik.
The assistance awarded to Hillsboro is part of the Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in October and approved by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 168.
Ohio State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House), who recently announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 91st House District, was on hand to congratulate the city for the grant.
More than $109 million will be awarded to help fund projects in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The award announced Thursday is part of the third and final round of grants awarded through the program.
The $109 million will go toward supporting 101 drinking water and wastewater projects in 106 communities around the state. In total, about $250 million of Ohio BUILDS funding is supporting 183 water projects across the state.
DeWine created the program to reduce or eliminate the local financial burden associated with critical needs such as the construction of new water systems, the replacement of aging water lines, and the installation of new water mains. It is also funds projects to prevent sewer system backups and replace failing household sewage treatment systems with new sewers.
“My administration is committed to helping our communities address these important water issues, and we look forward to additional conversations with the Ohio General Assembly about the potential of expanding this program with additional funds,” said DeWine.
Leesburg was awarded $974,563 in the previous rounds of funding to replace 4,500 linear feet of water main, install monitoring and water treatment plant components to assist in preventing depressurization, and replace old and faulty water meters.
The water main in the Leesburg project area is cast iron and has exceeded its useful life. It has experienced numerous breaks during the past year along S.R. 28. The existing system lacks sufficient valves causing breaks occur in this area resulting in widespread water outages.
Since applications for the program opened in late July, the Ohio Department of Development has received more than 1,200 grant applications requesting a total of $1.4 billion.
“As evidenced in the number of applications submitted, the need for these projects is great,” said Mihalik. “We are committed to working with the Ohio Legislature to fund additional projects through the program.”
In addition to making infrastructure improvements, the program supports environmental protection efforts.
“Many Ohio communities need this assistance to help their water and wastewater projects move forward,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “The grants announced today will make a difference in our communities and in the lives of Ohioans.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.