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County urges support of $1.8B road program

Clark County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting the renewal of the State Capital Improvement Program.

The renewal known as State Issue 1 is on the May 6 ballot.

“It’s important for the state of Ohio because it’s going to provide funds. It’s not a tax, it’s a bond levy to give them money to improve the quality of life either through economic development or various projects throughout the state of Ohio,” Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said.

The program has provided support for more than 11,500 road, bridge, sewer and other infrastructure projects since it was established in 1987.

The state issues debt to support the program. If approved, it will expand from the current level of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion in capital improvement bonds.

The program won’t raise taxes and will add tens of thousands of jobs, said Rob Nichols, spokesman for Gov. John Kasich.

Nichols said the renewal is needed as the cost to repair roads and bridges have skyrocketed.

“It’s a win-win,” Nichols said.

He said the capital improvement program continues an unprecedented investment in infrastructure statewide.

The State Capital Improvement Program has been endorsed by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Ohio Township Association and all 88 county engineers in Ohio.

Local projects supported by the program include grants for construction along Upper Valley Pike, a grant for wastewater treatment plant improvements in New Carlisle, Southwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement loans and loan assistance, according to Ohio Public Works Commission documents.

The program has provided nearly $70 million in support for Clark County projects in more than 20 years, according to Ohio Public Works Commission documents.

Clark County Engineer Johnathan Burr said the program is one of the most efficient funding sources for road and bridge projects, especially as material prices have doubled over the past decade.

“This greatly helps out the county, the city of Springfield, the townships and villages,” Burr said.

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