An aerial photo of Slope Creek in Barnesville, Ohio. With the assistance of Great Lakes RCAP, Barnesville received a $2.257 million grant to replace waterlines and build a pump station.
The Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) has helped 11 rural communities throughout Ohio receive $33.1 million in infrastructure improvement grants to improve water, wastewater, and other community infrastructure systems.
The funding is part of a $93 million package going towards Ohio water infrastructure projects through the Ohio Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success (BUILDS) initiative. This is the first round of funding in a larger $250 million state initiative to address water infrastructure needs.
Great Lakes RCAP, which serves rural communities in a seven-state region that includes Ohio, helped 11 communities secure funds for multiple improvement projects. Communities/entities receiving grant funds with the assistance of RCAP include:
- Barnesville, Belmont County, $2.257 million to replace about 25,000 feet of waterline and build a new pump station
- Lorain County Rural Wastewater District, Ashland County, $1 million to install new raw sewage pumps in the Cinnamon Lakes subdivision
- Fayette, Fulton County, $10 million to replace the community’s water distribution system
- Grover Hill, Paulding County, $1.2 million to repair the community water system and replace sewer lines
- Hicksville, Defiance County, $1.03 million to develop a new wellfield and replace a current wellfield
- Malvern, Carroll County, $150,000 for planning and engineering design for waterline replacement
- Morral, Marion County, $5 million to create a new sewer system in the main portion of the village
- New Waterford, Columbiana County, $2.5 million to replace community sanitary sewer mains and manholes
- Russells Point Village, Logan County, $100,000 for a stormwater sewer system engineering and design project
- Spencer, Medina County, $500,000 to replace a sludge pond, raw sewage pumps, and raw sludge pumps as well as add meters
- Washington County Board of Commissioners, $10 million for a sewer extension project
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine joins Barnesville officials in celebrating the community's receipt of a BUILDS Ohio infrastructure grant. RCAP Rural Development Specialist Misty Tolzda helped the village in applying for the funds.
In addition to assisting communities in procuring BUILDS funding, Great Lakes RCAP recently helped six other communities in obtaining H2Ohio grants for drinking water improvement or water/wastewater repair or replacement. These communities include:
- Lawrence County, $250,000 for an engineering project to improve safe drinking water access
- Noble County Water Authority, $135,000 for water line extension
- Washington County, $750,000 for sewer system connections for approximately 500 homes
- Bainbridge, Ross County, $500,000 for new sewer system and wastewater treatment plant construction
- Harrison County, $500,000 for new sewer system and wastewater treatment plant construction
- Wayne Lakes, Darke County, $500,000 for a new sanitary sewer collection system
“We are proud of our staff for helping so many small communities receive the funding they need to have safe drinking water and wastewater sanitation for their residents,” Great Lakes RCAP Ohio State Coordinator Sherry Loos said.
Loos thanked RCAP staff members for all of their hard work in helping dozens of communities throughout the state apply for BUILDS and H2Ohio funding, and congratulated Cindy Brookes, Pam Ewing, Roberta Streiffert, Kurtis Strickland, Misty Tolzda, and Ron Winland for their successful applications thus far. More awards are expected in the coming weeks as additional rounds of BUILDS grants are announced by the state.
RCAP staff help small, rural communities of 10,000 residents or fewer develop, fund, and manage water and wastewater projects, as well as provide other services for communities, Loos said. RCAP may help communities determine funding eligibility, apply for funding, select and hire project engineers, and other support such as rate studies, asset management, and more. Because RCAP is supported by federal and state funding through the U.S. EPA, USDA, and other sources, services are provided at no cost or minimal cost to communities.
“Water, wastewater, and other infrastructure projects are major undertakings for any community—especially small ones,” Loos said. “Our staff can help communities obtain funding from multiple sources, coordinate financial support throughout a long-term project, and provide any help needed to ensure that residents aren’t financially overburdened by taking on necessary infrastructure improvements.”
RCAP is a program of Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) and has been serving rural communities in Ohio and throughout the Great Lakes region for more than 40 years. More information on Ohio’s RCAP services is available at www.glcap.org/ohiorcap.