GALLIPOLIS — A $250,000 grant to Gallia County to help fund a planned sewer system has beeen issued by the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Sen. George Voinovich announced.
Voinovich, Ohio’s senior senator and a member of the that body’s Environment and Public Works Committee, said the funds will be used to build a new wastewater collection system in the Kanauga/Addison community and provide public sewer service to 416 households and 137 businesses and other non-residential users.
The project will also support the community’s efforts to retain more than 100 existing jobs.
“I am pleased I was able to assist in bringing funding to Gallia County to construct a new sewer system and retain jobs in southeast Ohio,” Voinovich said. “The ARC has had a profound impact on many lives in Appalachia Ohio, creating economic opportunities and raising the overall quality of life in the region. I will continue my efforts to secure funding for the ARC so the commission can continue to change lives in Ohio.”
In addition to ARC funds, other sources have committed $4,897,800 to the k/A project, bringing the total funding to $5,147,800.
Earlier this month, Voinovich hosted a roundtable at Ohio University to discuss the water infrastructure needs in the Appalachia Ohio. He also discussed reauthorization of the ARC and its important role in economic development in the region.
According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio’s capital investment needs for publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities are $12.9 billion. This is an unfunded mandate on local communities expected to spend millions of dollars for water infrastructure upgrades without help from the federal government.
During his first term in the Senate, Voinovich authored the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 2002 (S.1206), which was signed by the president on March 12, 2002.
The bill reauthorized the economic development efforts of the ARC, providing $446 million over five years for these efforts, and enacted a new, Voinovich-created technology initiative to help improve the region’s telecommunication infrastructure and help businesses and residents take better advantage of e-commerce opportunities.
With that reauthorization slated to run out soon, Voinovich recently worked with his colleagues to pass his legislation to reauthorize the ARC at $510.9 million over five years through the Senate. The ARC conference report has been passed by the House and Voinovich is hopeful that it will be passed by the Senate in September.