The village of Galena is among the communities receiving project funding now that the state capital budget has been signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine (R).
“Incredible news: The Village of Galena received $350,000 towards a new and improved playground!” Galena Mayor Jill Love posted earlier this month on The Official Residents of Galena, Ohio Facebook group.
According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, nine capital projects in Delaware County will receive funding. Five are through the Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) — Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ($1.4 million), Project Playground Galena ($350,000), Edge Adventure Park in Westerville ($300,000), Concord Township Park renovation ($172,000) and Havener Park improvements ($75,000). Four are through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission: The Barn at Stratford ($500,000), Orange Township Veterans Memorial ($400,000), Delaware Arts Castle mason repairs ($100,000) and the Strand Theatre ($100,000).
Total spending on capital projects in Delaware County amounts to $3,397,000.
“When I was appointed in March, I promised my constituents that I would deliver tangible results to the district,” said state Rep. Shawn Stevens (R-Sunbury). “Voting for the budget I made good on that promise by returning over a million dollars in investments to our hard-working taxpayers in Delaware and Knox counties.”
Stevens represents the 68th District in the Ohio House of Representatives, which consists of eastern Delaware County and all of Knox County. A news release from Stevens’ office detailed other appropriations in the district.
“The Knox County Regional Airport will receive $150,000 to continue airport improvements; Knox County will receive $500,000 to build a new multi-purpose expo center at the county fairgrounds; the City of Mount Vernon will receive $14,000 for the Kokosing Gap Trial improvements; $18,000 will be used to make improvements to the Zuck Riparian Preserve Trail (in Howard off State Route 715),” the release said.
Ohio House Bill 687 is a two-year, $3.5 billion construction budget that “provides funding to projects ranging from supporting Intel in Licking County, to providing a historic investment to the state’s parks and campgrounds,” said the County Commissioners Association of Ohio in its publication The Statehouse Report. “The bill also contains a unique provision that authorizes the administration to use its discretion on whether to pay up to $1.5 billion dollars of the included state spending by dipping into the state’s General Revenue Fund in lieu of bonding.”
The bill appropriates $600 million for school construction and renovations; $191 million for community projects; $400 for road, bridge and water projects; $100 million for school safety grants to help with building security; $86 million to help farmers and agribusiness (Ohio’s leading economic industry, with 78,000 farms in the state) and $50 million for the construction and renovation of county jails.
In April, the ODNR released $478,000 through its Clean Ohio Trail Fund for improvements to the Ohio to Erie Trail near Sunbury. This will convert a railroad bridge to a pedestrian bridge over the Big Walnut Creek with 10-foot-wide multi-use pave trail on either side of the bridge. The allocation was part of $6.2 million awarded to 16 trail improvement projects across the state.
“I am pleased to see money coming to the district in support of some of our natural wonders,” Stevens said at the time. “These improvements will help provide an outdoor recreational opportunity while preserving a piece of natural habitat.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.