The Ohio EPA submitted a list of projects it hopes to fund through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That recommendations list includes two projects in Middleport, one in the Tuppers Plains Regional Sewer District, one in the Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District and one in Pomeroy.
State Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens, said the list of priority projects for the state’s share of ARRA funding for water and water pollution control projects includes the following:
• $2.8 million principal forgiveness and $700,000 loan for a new water well and replacement of water lines in Middleport.
• $195,000 for a wastewater treatment lagoon solar stirring system.
• $358,898 principal forgiveness and the same amount in loan funding for the TP-CWD’s phase eight distribution project.
• $201,600 in principal forgiveness and $86,400 for new water meters.
• $151,500 ARRA (stimulus program) and $50,500 loan funding for improvements to the TPRSD’s treatment plant, to address erosion problems.
Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe said the sheer dollar amount of the Meigs County project list is impressive. Other counties in the southeastern Ohio region are expected to receive much less from the funding program.
He said the announcement is important, not only because of the jobs the projects will create, but also because of the permanent improvements to local infrastructure the award represents.
The EPA’s priority list includes 69 drinking water projects in 52 communities and 255 water pollution control projects in 164 communities. Ohio EPA has issued draft Intended Use Plans (IUPs), and will hold a public meeting to take comments on the plans on May 7 in Columbus.
U.S. EPA must also approve the IUPs for the projects before funding is awarded.
Stimulus money will be combined with the state's existing assistance funds to spread economic recovery and improvements to as many Ohio communities as possible, an EPA spokesman said.
Ohio EPA will make 100 percent of stimulus funds available as subsidies. The Recovery Act requires just 50 percent. Non-Recovery Act funds will also be “mixed and matched” with Recovery Act funds to increase the number of communities able to receive infrastructure funding.