House bill would benefit Clermont County projects

December 21st, 2006    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

It was announced last week that $649,000 of the state’s capital budget is being considered for three projects in Clermont County.

If the capital bill, introduced as House Bill 699, passes the Ohio House of Representatives before the end of the year as it is expected to, the three projects which will benefit from the funds are the Williamsburg-Batavia hike and bike trail, the dock at East Fork’s William Harsha Lake, and the county’s communications and emergency operations center in Batavia.

The bill and the projects are sponsored and supported by State Senator Tom Niehaus of New Richmond, State Representative and Miami Township resident Joe Uecker, and State Representative Danny Bubp of West Union.

"The capital projects in Clermont County will go toward improving the quality of life for county residents," said Niehaus. "Once these improvements are complete, they will help attract more visitors and benefit the local economy. They demonstrate that commitment that the state has to ensuring communities are safe, healthy, and prosperous."

About $330,000 of the funds have been set aside for the first phase of a project intended to expand the 15-mile Williamsburg-Batavia hike and bike trail through the East Fork State Park (including the construction of a bridge over the Cain Run Creek).

Engineering and design work are already underway for this first phase of the trail connecting the village of Williamsburg to the East Fork State Campground.

Another $19,000 of the capital funds has been earmarked to help rebuild and refurbish the 26-year-old Harsha Lake's boat dock.

Improvements to the dock will include replacing several sections, the repair of several flotation parts, and the painting and resurfacing of the entire structure.

Some $300,000 of the bill is being considered for upgrades to the Batavia Communications and Emergency Operations Center, the home for all of the emergency support services in Clermont County.

The communications center includes the 911 emergency dispatch system, the Emergency Management Agency, the Office of Technology, Communications, and Security, and the Department of Public Safety Services.

The funds received through the capital budget will enable the county to expand the current operations center, said Center Director Beth Nevel.

The capital bill is the state's building and renovations legislature; the funds are generated through the sale of bonds, as opposed to tax dollars, to fund infrastructure projects around the state.

Ohio's constitution places spending limits on how much the state can earmark for infrastructure improvements.

Niehaus, Bubp, Uecker, and other state legislators prioritize the projects that will create jobs, generate capital, and stimulate economic growth.

The capital bill is expected to pass by Jan. 1, 2007.
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