Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has awarded 28 water infrastructure projects, including one in Wilmington, with a total of nearly $44 million as part of a second round of funding offered through the new Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program.
Wilmington will receive a $5 million grant to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant. These updates help the plant meet new phosphorus discharge requirements to help improve the water quality in Lytle Creek and address the deficiencies at the plant.
The Wilmington project consists of a 50 percent capacity expansion to the wastewater treatment plant, improvements to the treatment process, and conversion of existing tanks for solids handling.
DeWine launched the Ohio BUILDS initiative last week. As part of the new program, approximately $250 million will be invested in local water infrastructure projects to help improve quality of life for Ohio’s families and encourage economic growth in Ohio’s communities, stated a media release.
This week’s second-round grant announcement brings the total of Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants awarded so far to approximately $137 million. Funded projects impact all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
“It’s astonishing to me that there are communities in Ohio today where it’s difficult to get clean water. For our people to thrive and for our communities to grow, clean water and reliable infrastructure are an absolute must,” said DeWine.
“There is a tremendous need for water infrastructure upgrades all over our state, and through Ohio BUILDS, we’re funding projects that will be life-changing in some communities,” he added.
A third round of grant recipients will be announced in the future.
DeWine created the Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program to 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, the release said.
The Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants are a continuation of DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, which launched in 2019 to focus on ensuring plentiful, clean, and safe water for communities across the state.
H2Ohio focuses on strategies to reduce algal blooms on Lake Erie and on other bodies of water in the state. The initiative has also awarded $15 million in grants for water infrastructure projects.
Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) will also focus on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life such as broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.
The Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants announced Tuesday were funded by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 168, sponsored by State Representatives Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), with funding that was appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Ohio BUILDS grant programs for broadband expansion, blighted building demolition, and brownfield redevelopment are funded in Ohio’s current operating budget.