With the passage of the state’s main operating budget this summer, attention now turns to the state Capital Appropriations Budget, which will be introduced and passed in early 2020. The capital budget provides communities with the opportunity to seek state funding assistance for projects that involve the acquisition, construction, equipment, or renovation of buildings and other facilities that meet a defined “public purpose.” Communities, especially Ohio’s weaker market and smaller communities must be prepared to “make their case” to secure funds for catalytic projects in their community.
Recently, the state Capital Appropriations Budget has not come without controversy in Adams County. According to community leaders in 2018, the Adams County Economic Development Department did not notify local governments or organizations regarding the opportunities for state funding leaving several organizations without a chance to apply. When the funding was completed, the Wilson’s Children’s Home received an appropriation for upgrades to the building, however, eyebrows raised when it was determined that the person requesting the funding was Holly Johnson, Director of Economic Development, who also sits on the Board of Trustees of Adams County Children Services/Wilson Children’s Home.
In addition, $250,000 was approved for new splash pads in Adams County. The splash pads, celebrated by some and thought of as wasteful public spending by others has been deemed one of the worst and most wasteful capital budget requests in the entire state by the conservative Buckeye Institute in Columbus.
Many local townships, villages, and organizations are invited to work directly with their State Senator or State Representative to secure funding for worthy projects. To make sure the public is informed, the Informer will publish reminders over the next two months for local residents interested in learning more about capital funding. According to the state of Ohio, the number of requests always far exceeds the amount of allotted dollars and it is possible that your project will not receive funding.
To learn more, please contact State Senator Terry Johnson at (614) 466-8082 or Represenative Brian Baldridge at (614) 466-2124.