GALION — The City of Galion is the recipient of $100,000 in state funding through the annual capital appropriations bill.
Senate Bill 310, which provided federal COVID-19 relief funding to local subdivisions and included capital appropriations, passed by a vote of 29-0 in the Senate and 77-7 in the House, according to records maintained on the General Assembly website.
According to a summary published by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission’s Legislative Budget Office, the General Assembly approved a total of $2,129,358,799 in capital funding requests by entities from across Ohio. The $100,000 allocated to Galion through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will be used for the Galion Park Square Renovation project.
Mayor Tom O’Leary publicized the allocation during his Facebook Live session on Monday evening following the Galion City Council special meeting.
“We didn’t really expect the state capital budget to happen this year (because of state budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic), so we had gone ahead and applied for (Egbert M. Freese Foundation) funds for a real similar project,” O’Leary said. “When most of the activities that take place up at the park — the Third Fridays and other kinds of community gatherings during the summer — as those were postponed or looked like they were going to be a no-go in 2020, we decided not to use those Freese funds for that project.
“We just became aware last week of our inclusion in the capital bill, so we do have that $100,000. So we do have some Freese funds and some state capital bill funds,” O’Leary noted.
O’Leary said the city submitted its application for capital funding late in 2019, but never received notification about whether the appropriations would be made this year. He said it was a pleasant surprise.
“That’s, I guess, as close to a Christmas present as the citizens of Galion got,” he said. “We’re very happy about that. We want to thank State Rep. (Riordan) McClain, the person to whom we made application, for keeping that in his budget.”
The City of Galion was one of three Crawford County entities to be approved for funding in the capital appropriations bill. The Crawford County Fair will receive $300,000 from the Department of Agriculture and the Crestline Historical Society is the recipient of $10,000 through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
According to the Legislative Service Commission’s Legislative Budget Office, the General Assembly made additional appropriations through Senate Bill 4 in October that amounted to $555 million and authorized $525 million in new debt. That brings the total appropriation for the biennium that runs through June 30, 2022, to approximately $2.68 billion. New debt authorization amounts to $2.27 billion.
Following is a breakdown of some of the appropriations by agency:
• Department of Higher Education — $485,720,973
• Ohio Facilities Construction Commission — $385,017,038
• Department of Natural Resources — $317,646,429
• Department of Rehabilitation and Correction — $281,729,000
• Public Works Commission — $280,000,000
• Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services — $111,013,800
• Department of Developmental Disabilities — $35,294,750
For information about the capital appropriations bill, go to legislature.ohio.gov and search for Senate Bill 310.
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