PDT Staff Writer
The city of Portsmouth has submitted a request for 11 projects, including a city center, in connection with application for funding as a part of the $8.2 billion the state of Ohio hopes to receive.
The city has asked for $12,933,819 to renovate the former Marting’s building for city offices.
Other projects include a filtration plant upgrade, the Haverhill water tank, Lawson Run sewer and others.
According to Portsmouth Development Director Jennifer Hanlon some funds will be provided directly to the state and then awarded to other entities to perform eligible work. Other monies will go directly to schools, Community Action agencies, other for-profit and non-profit entities. In addition, these entities will also have the opportunity to compete for other funds.
“The requirements for projects have been constantly changing and the city, along with just about every other public and private organization in the state of Ohio, has had to work non-stop to get viable project proposals ready for submission,” Hanlon said.
The city of Portsmouth, in addition to other Ohio entities, submitted projects by way of the Web site www.recovery.ohio.gov. If a project appears to be eligible for funding, state officials will contact the entity with additional information about how to formally apply for funds.
Hanlon said the site also provides a link to a sortable and searchable Excel spreadsheet covering requests submitted through that Web site under the title “More information.”
Hanlon said just because a project appears on the list of requests, it in no way means the project is slated to receive funding. Hanlon said no funding decisions have been made regarding the use of state managed federal stimulus funds.
“One funding requirement is that projects be shovel-ready within a certain time frame,” Hanlon said. “This means the planning is complete and the project is ready for construction. This constraint narrowed the scope of projects that are ready to be submitted, but it also makes the process easier by narrowing down our list of total projects and submitting only those projects that are eligible.”
Hanlon said the city also submitted appropriations requests to both Senator George Voinovich and Senator Sherrod Brown because each senator requested projects that fit different congressional spending bills.
Current projects the city of Portsmouth has submitted to www.recovery.ohio.gov include:
• City Center Project (to renovate downtown building for city offices) $12,933,819
• Filtration Plant upgrade (to install new pumps, filter media, valves, piping) $2,100,000
• Haverhill Water Tank (to install 1,000,000 gallon storage tank and 5,000 linear feet of 12-inch water main) $1,100,000
• Lawson Run Waste Water Treatment Project (to install primary clarifiers, filters, UV disinfectant, flow monitoring telemetry) $13,000,000
• Pedestrian Friendly upgrade (to replace sidewalks and curb cuts) $2,000,000
• Portsmouth Bridge rehabilitation (to rehab 6 bridges) $100,000
• Portsmouth Fire Department expansion project (to purchase two new pumper trucks and expand current Central Fire Station to support current and future equipment needs) $900,000
• Portsmouth Skate Park (to install a skate park) $800,000
• Portsmouth Street Paving project (to repave approximately 39,000 linear feet of streets) $1,250,000
• Recreational Facilities Improvement (to rehab Spartan Stadium and Branch Rickey Park) $5,000,000
• Wheelersburg Tank/Waterline project (to install 800,000 water tank, 15,000 linear feet of water line and upgrade the Stewart Hollow pump station) $1,350,000
For Voinovich, the city submitted the Wheelersburg Tank and the Lawson Run projects for funding consideration.
“The projects must fit one of the Interior Appropriations Bills such as Environmental Protection Agency or the Bureau of Land Management,” Hanlon said.
Five appropriations projects projects were submitted to Brown. In addition to the Wheelersburg Tank and the Lawson Run projects, the city submitted the City Center, Portsmouth Fire Department expansion, and the filtration plant upgrade projects.
The different funding bills through Brown’s office include: Agriculture/Rural Development, Energy and Water, and General Government.
Hanlon said the projects listed compete with other projects submitted for each respective bill, and the bills are specific to which types of projects they will cover.
For example, a water project competes with another water project proposal, and not with a fire department expansion project proposal.
Hanlon said the federal government established www.recovery.gov so anyone can follow the stimulus spending. For the text of the recovery bill, hanlon said residents can go to www.readthestimulus.org. Federal spending in general is tracked at usaspending.gov.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101 Ext. 232.