Two local villages have received word recently that they will receive funds from the Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) water infrastructure program.
The Village of DeGraff will receive a $545,050 grant to update the village’s water treatment plant and replace out-of-date equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. The project will benefit 1,215 people.
In December, DeGraff received a grant for $500,000 from the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Development through the competitive Critical Infrastructure program. The grant was awarded to assist the village with a water loop improvement project.
The Village of West Liberty will also receive a $150,000 grant to replace approximately 950 feet and 370 feet of existing clay sewer lines along Linden Avenue and Race Street, respectively. Project activities include the installation of one new manhole to reduce the spacing between manholes to an acceptable level, as well as a 150-foot sewer line extension along Reynolds Street. Two new manholes and laterals to existing homes will also be installed. The project will benefit 220 people.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik recently 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.
“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 announced today 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.