Bill to provide funding for OUS, OSHP

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2005

COLUMBUS - Southern Ohio's legislators continue to fight for funding for the region and that fight may soon pay off - big time.

The Ohio House of Representatives approved by a 90-2 vote a capital bill that would provide $668,108 for Ohio

University Southern - $558,831 for the university's Proctorville site and $109,277 for the Ironton campus.

Email newsletter signup

The bill also includes $1.9 million for the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Ironton Post to look towards a new facility. The agency has been looking at several locations including a site in the South Ironton Industrial Park, adjacent to the Ohio Department of Transportation's county garage.

Now, the bill goes to the Senate Finance Committee Monday and should make it to the floor for a vote Tuesday, said Senate Finance Chairman and local Senator John Carey.

"We are really pleased. It is always a difficult process to get community projects together," Carey said. "It was a big asset to have Rep. Clyde Evans, Sen. Tom Niehaus and Rep. Todd Book on our side. Last year, I only got $100,000 included for my whole district so we did a lot better this year."

Rep. Evans agreed.

"We talk about the widening of the wage gap in this country when we really mean the widening education gap," Rep. Evans said in a written release.

"At this period in our economic history, the world is fervently recruiting intellectual capital - the basis and stimulus for today's high-tech service and communication economy. We must continue to press on in bringing more educational opportunities to Lawrence County to support the new economy."

Carey said he does not anticipate any amendments or major hurdles within the Senate.

"We are really pleased but we always have more work to do," he said.

The bill also includes $540 million that would be allocated to the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission to distribute. The Ironton School District and Collins Career Center would both be eligible for potential funding, Carey said.