Ohio awards more than $120 million for local water infrastructure

June 4, 2024

Ohio officials have awarded $122.7 million in grants that will support projects to improve water infrastructure in 59 counties.

This funds come from the sixth round of the Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program. It includes $84.5 million for 43 infrastructure projects and $38.2 million for gap funding for 33 projects that exceeded initial cost estimates.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which provided $350 billion to tribes, states, the District of Columbia, local governments and U.S. territories to address a wide range of expenses related to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including water and wastewater infrastructure.

Since its inception in 2021, the Ohio BUILDS program has allocated nearly $620 million to support local water projects across all 88 counties in the state, with this new round of funding authorized by the 2023 biennium budget bill. The Department of Development administers the program. 

The grants will fund essential infrastructure projects such as new water distribution systems, waterline extensions, water tower replacements and new pipes and mains that would be too costly for localities to complete. They will also support the replacement of sanitary sewer systems, prevent sewer backups and extend sewer lines.

This latest round, announced in November, saw 703 applications requesting over $1.4 billion, showing the ongoing need for water infrastructure improvements throughout Ohio. Eligible construction projects were able to receive grants up to $5 million, with additional funding considered for individual projects facing a shortage of matching funds or other obstacles.

Approved projects with the widest impact include:

  • Scioto County: A $2.6 million grant to install gravity sewer mains, three force mains and three pumping stations to improve the local sewer system. The project will benefit 17,900 people.
  • Village of West Farmington (Trumbull County): A $591,690 grant to install a septage receiving station. The project will benefit 10,000 people.
  • City of Wooster (Wayne County): A $1 million grant for headworks improvements including replacing screens, a new vortex grit system and other upgrades. The project will benefit 27,000 people.
  • Williams County: A $2.3 million grant to construct a sewage system for the unincorporated village of Alvordton. The project will benefit 16,000 people.
  • City of Willoughby (Lake County): A $5 million grant to relieve sanitary sewer basement flooding in the Orchard Park neighborhood. The project will benefit 15,128 people.
  • City of Willard (Huron County): A $1.5 million grant for a water system improvement project. The project will benefit 10,000 people.

Photo by roseohioresident

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