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Clean Ohio Funds now available in District 15

Clean Ohio Funds are once again available in District 15 for the preservation of open space and river corridors. Local government entities and qualified non-profits are eligible to apply for projects located anywhere in the district’s 11-county region, including Fayette, Ross, Highland, Brown, Adams, Pike, Scioto, Vinton, Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence counties.

There is a total of approximately $2.75 million dollars available in the 2015 grant cycle in District 15. Application forms and District 15 scoring criteria may be attained at OPWC’s website listed below.

The deadline for formal submissions is March 17. Eleven copies plus the original grant application should be mailed or hand delivered to the Ross County Park District so that they arrive no later than 4 p.m. on March 17. An electronic (PDF) copy is encouraged. The Ross County Park District is located at 15 N. Paint St., Suite 301, Chillicothe, OH 45601.

Throughout the state there are 19 Natural Resources Assistance Councils that are responsible for approving projects to send to the Ohio Public Works Commission, the agency that governs the Clean Ohio Fund. Representation on the committee includes a diverse group, potentially including local district public works integrating committee members, soil and water conservation districts, local governments, environmental groups, parks, agriculture, and business. Each NRAC evaluates and scores applications using a locally developed methodology, approved by the commission, based on criteria listed in Chapter 164 of the Ohio Revised Code. These evaluation criteria focuses on the support of comprehensive open space planning, protection of habitat, preservation of existing high quality wetlands, linkages to other open space and overall quality of the natural area preserved.

After evaluating and scoring the projects, each NRAC creates a list of high priority projects that are submitted to the Ohio Public Works Commission. Each application is reviewed for completeness and project eligibility. After all requirements are met at the NRAC district level and the applications are approved, formal agreements are issued by the Ohio Public Works Commission to individual applicants. The commission’s staff maintains ongoing contact with local applicants or potential applicants, providing technical assistance through each project’s completion.

For more information on the Clean Ohio Fund, please write the Ohio Public Works Commission at 65 East State Street, Suite 312, Columbus, OH 43215, call 614-466-0880, or visit their web site at www.pwc.state.oh.us