Earlier this week, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and Speaker of the HouseClifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) introduced the state’s Capital Budget, a $2.62 billion investment in Ohio’s infrastructure and local community projects.

The legislature generally approves a capital budget every two years with the goal of funding needed improvements to public services and facilities across the state, including schools, roads and bridges, waterways and parks. The companion bills introduced today in each chamber also increase the capital investment in mental health and addiction services facilities.

“The state capital budget plays a major role in bringing jobs and opportunities to our hometowns, and we are able to make these investments because of responsible management of the state’s finances,” said Obhof. “I appreciate the partnership of the Speaker and the administration in working with our local communities to understand their needs and priorities.”

“This capital budget will give the legislature a tremendous opportunity to address several infrastructure and construction projects that will generate a positive return on investment for communities all across the state,” said Rosenberger. “I want to commend the members of the legislature and local leaders for their collaboration and commitment to helping improve the lives of so many Ohioans through this legislation.”

Locally, a total of $4,546,246 in Richland County projects were included in the Capital Budget, including the following (note that this does not include monies for statewide projects that could well see additional funds spent in the county):

  • Crestline Park Lighting — $25,000 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Plymouth Game Room and Spray Park — $60,000 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Mansfield Art Center “Art Rising” — $750,000 through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission
  • Ohio State Reformatory Fire Suppression and ADA Upgrades — $200,000 through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission
  • The Ohio State University At Mansfield Conard Hall Chemistry Labs Renovation — $1,700,000
  • Through The Ohio State University / Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center Greenhouse Project — $90,000
  • North Central State College Kehoe Center Infrastructure Renovation — $1,200,000
  • North Center State College IT Data Infrastructure Upgrade Project — $326,246
  • North Central State College Kee Hall Renovation — $195,000

Large projects in surrounding counties include $500,000 for the proposed REC at Crawford Commons in Galion, and in Ashland, $500,000 for the Schine’s Theatre and $300,000 for the Brookside Tennis Courts.

Statewide Highlights of the Capital Budget and Bill:

Supporting Ohio’s Schools

$600 million will be invested in local school construction, including repairs, renovations and maintenance for primary and secondary facilities.

Over $483 million will be invested in projects supporting Ohio’s 37 public colleges and universities.

Supporting Ohio’s Infrastructure

$514 million will go to local infrastructure projects through the Public Works Commission, including local roads, bridges, water-supply systems, storm sewers and wastewater systems.

This includes $100 million to support the Clean Ohio program, which funds the preservation of green space, farmland, open spaces and expanded recreational opportunities.

Over $234 million for the maintenance and preservation of Ohio’s dams, parks, trails, waterways and wildlife.

Supporting Ohioans in Need

Nearly $222 million will be invested in critical health and human services funding for youth services, developmental disabilities, mental health, addiction treatment and women’s health initiatives, over double the amount spent in the last capital budget.

This includes $20 million for new opioid community resiliency projects.

Supporting Ohio’s Communities

Nearly $150 million will be used for economic development and cultural projects of local and regional importance to boost growth and increase opportunities throughout the state, in addition to supporting the healthcare projects above.

The companion bills were introduced in the Ohio Senate as Senate Bill 266 and in the Ohio House as House Bill 529 and are available for review at www.legislature.ohio.gov. Hearings began Tuesday in the Senate Finance Committee and House Finance Committee.

Photo: Public Domain

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