COLUMBUS – State Representative Jon Cross (R-Kenton) announced several infrastructure projects that will be receiving state or federal funding across Hardin County.
The United States Department of Agriculture approval of $6.8 million of federal funds for a pilot watershed project near Dunkirk, while Kenton, Ridgeway and Forest received $1.75 million in state grant money to improve critical infrastructure and neighborhood revitalization projects.
The pilot watershed project will partner with The Ohio State University and others to establish a pilot program in the larger Western Lake Erie Basin to test water quality management strategies with the goal of reducing phosphorus concentrations in local waterways.
The project will improve water quality monitoring infrastructure and incentivize participation through a bonus that increases payments as more producers implement practices.
“It is crucial that we protect Ohio’s natural waterways,” said Cross. “The actions we take in Hancock and Hardin counties rivers and streams has ramifications, good or bad, further downstream all the way to Lake Erie.”
Representative Cross authored an amendment in the state-operating budget that secured the same watershed project $4 million in H2Ohio funding.
The pilot project also coincides with Cross’ House Bill 385 initiative to enact fines against municipal corporations that dump waste in Western Lake Erie Basin, which includes the Maumee River and its tributaries.
The legislation, which was referred to the Agriculture and Conservation House Committee Sept. 16, would fine cities $250,000 for a first offense of knowingly violating the law, with a $1,000 per day fine of ongoing dumping. An additional $1 million would be added to the fine if the discharge exceeds 100 million gallons within a 12-month period.
The City of Kenton and Village of Forest will each be receiving a state grant for $500,000 to help replace deteriorating and inadequate storm sewer. The Kenton project will replace 3,200 linear feet of curbing, 3,800 linear feet of storm sewer, 200 linear feet of sanitary lines, 19 catch basins and nine manholes, while the Forest project will install 1,470 linear feet of storm lateral, 2,798 feet of storm sewer, 26 catch basins and 12 manholes to connect the village to an existing storm sewer and eliminate flooding.
“These projects are a necessity for the local communities to be able to function,” said Cross. “With these grant funds they can replace or implement projects that they have been waiting on at no cost to the taxpayers.”
The Village of Ridgeway will be receiving in $750,000 in Neighborhood Revitalization grant money. The funding will help repair or replace 10,300 linear feet of sidewalk along Hale, Oak and Buck streets. Replace 440 linear feet of sidewalk along Main and Hale streets. Funding will also help replace an electrical junction box at the village’s ballfield and install a basketball court.
The money will also go toward wastewater improvements including, installing 1,261 linear feet of storm line, eight catch basins, three manholes and a new head wall along with the replacement of a sanitary vault that is at the end of its useful life.