CRESTLINE — The Village of Crestline will receive funding to help pay for a major wastewater treatment project.

Crestline Mayor Linda Horning-Pitt said the village will receive a $5 million grant to improve the existing wastewater treatment plant, replace the Park Road Pump Station, and construct a force main from the pump station to the treatment plant. The project will benefit 4,448 people.

The funding slated for Crestline is part of the $93 million Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) Water Infrastructure grant program. The governor’s office announced the first round of grant recipients on Tuesday.

“We are so excited to receive this grant,” Horning-Pitt said. “We are in the funding stages of building our new sewer treatment plant. The plans are completed and the ticket price on the sewer treatment plant is $14.2 million. We have been working hard with RCAP (Rural Community Assistance Partnership) to find grants and low interest loans. When the Governor released his plans for an Ohio Infrastructure Grant, we knew we had to apply.

“Based on a point system, we received additional points for being ranked No. 1 on Crawford County Engineer’s list and Sen. (Bill) Reineke also had us listed in his top 10 for projects needing funding. The more grants we can get the better position we are in to keep our sewer rates low for our citizens,” she added. “Needless to say, Crestline is blessed once again as we continue to move forward with the funding of our new sewer treatment plant and other projects. This is truly the Crestline Comeback.”

According to a press release issued Tuesday by the governor’s office, a total of $250 million in grant funding will be invested in water infrastructure projects as part of the new Ohio BUILDS initiative. The first round of water infrastructure grants awarded $93 million to 54 projects that impact communities in 60 Ohio counties. The remainder of the water infrastructure grants will be awarded in the coming weeks and will ultimately impact communities in every county in Ohio, the press release stated.

The grants awarded will help reduce or eliminate the local financial burden associated with critical infrastructure needs such as the construction of new water systems, the replacement of aging water lines, and the installation new water mains, DeWine said. Grants will also fund projects to prevent sewer system backups and replace failing household sewage treatment systems with new sewers.

“These grants are about strengthening our future, our people, and our communities,” said DeWine. “We want our kids and grandkids to stay in Ohio, and clean water is essential to the health and future of our state. Protecting and ensuring that every community in Ohio has access to safe and clean water has been our mission from the start, and with these grants, we are continuing our mission to provide access to economic development tools that will help communities grow and thrive well into the future.”

The new Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants are a continuation of DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, which launched in 2019 to focus on ensuring plentiful, clean, and safe water for communities across the state. In addition to investing in strategies to reduce algal blooms on Lake Erie and other bodies of water statewide, H2Ohio has also awarded $15 million in grants for water infrastructure projects.

The Crawford Park District received a $100,000 grant from H2Ohio to build the Sandusky Headwaters Preserve, a wetland area designed to help conserve and restore the Sandusky River and reduce the amount of pollutants entering Lake Erie through the river.

According to the press release issued Tuesday, Ohio BUILDS will focus not only on strengthening Ohio’s communities through water infrastructure upgrades, but it will also make other necessary investments in targeted solutions that impact quality of life such as broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, etc.

The Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grants were funded by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 168, with funding that was appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Ohio BUILDS grant programs for broadband expansion, blighted building demolition, and brownfield redevelopment are funded in Ohio’s current operating budget.
Grant will fund improvements at wastewater treatment facility

By Andrew Carter