OTTAWA — State Senator Robert McColley and State Representative Jim Hoops visited Ottawa Thursday and met with village and county officials to discuss available funding for capital improvement projects.
McColley explained there is funding from the state that allows communities to submit projects.
“These projects have to do with bricks and mortar and physical improvements to properties,” McColley said. He said it is a way for the state to participate in enhancing communities and trying to make Ohio a better place to live, work and raise a family.
The goal is to have meetings in each county in the senate district to discuss the funding, according to McColley.
The capital budget as a whole is several billion dollars, but the vast majority of the capital budget goes toward state capital assets. Examples are higher education buildings and park improvements. A portion of the budget is the community projects budget and is from $120 million to $150 million statewide.
Members of the legislature can apply for the funds and communities can contact their senator or representative to get materials to submit a funding application. The deadline to apply is the first week of January.
“As members of the legislature, we go through projects that are submitted to us, evaluate them for eligibility and make a decision how much money will be available to distribute across the district,” McColley said.
He said villages are often on limited budgets and cannot finance projects on their own.
“The general rule of thumb is we won’t finance 100% of the cost of any individual project. The local communities have to have skin in the game, but we are willing to take on a portion of the funding if that is what it takes to get these projects done,” McColley said.
Hoops discussed the eligibility requirements that must be submitted including the project name and description, specified use, project location, sponsoring organization, owner of the facility for improvements, total project cost, amount of money requested and amount of money put in the past toward the project.
“These funds are important for communities who want to do projects but may not be able to afford it because of the costs,” Hoops said.
He said the village of Leipsic previously received capital improvement project funds last year to build a tennis court.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.