Ohio Public Works Commission Programs

The Ohio Public Works Commission administers projects from two major groups of projects including infrastructure funding for roads, bridges, water supply, wastewater, solid waste, and stormwater in addition to greenspace conservation and riparian restoration. See below for overviews of our major funding sources.

Public Works Definition

The State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) was created in 1987 and renewed in 1995, 2005 and 2014 by amendments creating Sections 2k, 2m, 2p and 2s, Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution. These Constitutional provisions allow the State to use its general revenues as debt support to issue general obligation bonds up to $175 million in fiscal years 2017 to 2021 and $200 million in fiscal years 2022 to 2026. Eligible applicants are counties, cities, villages, townships, and water and sanitary districts (ORC 6119 or 6117). Eligible projects are for improvements to roads, bridges, culverts, water supply systems, wastewater systems, storm water collection systems, and solid waste disposal facilities.

Funding is provided through grants, loans, and loan assistance or local debt support. Grants are available for up to 90% of the total project costs for repair/replacement, and up to 50% for new/expansion. Loans can be provided for up to 100% of the project costs. Grant/loan combinations are also available. There is no minimum or maximum loan amount with a term of one to thirty years, not exceeding the useful life of the project. The interest rate is 0%. Once the project is completed a final amortization schedule is provided requiring payments every January and July until the term of the loan expires. Loans may be paid in full with no prepayment penalty.

Visit here for more information about applying for funding.

Visit here for more information about OPWC loans.

View our list of FY 2024 Infrastructure Projects. 

Loan Assistance / Credit Enhancement

This category of funding may be applied for as part of a project that is a grant, loan or grant/loan combination but needs to be a separate application for administrative purposes.

Loan Assistance is a grant that pays for the interest on a public or private loan during the construction period. Construction must have commenced within three years prior to the date of the project agreement. A Credit Enhancement is a one-time infusion of funds to enhance an applicant’s ability to secure affordable debt. The OPWC may pay the premium for a bond insurance policy which would improve the applicant’s credit or bond rating.

Disbursement of OPWC funds will be made directly to an authorized lending institution or as a reimbursement to the Recipient. (Note that the Ohio Water Development Authority directly bills the OPWC.) In the case of bond insurance, transactions must be in harmony with the state’s own “tax exempt” bond issues and requirements for the use of proceeds for such bonds. Disbursement of OPWC funds shall occur at the time required for their actual use in the subdivision’s debt issuance. Any additional terms will be communicated to the subdivision at the time of approval.

Subdivisions must enact legislation authorizing the associated debt issuance prior to approval of OPWC assistance. For loans: An official loan closing or verification that a loan closing will occur within 90 days after OPWC approval and at which time all other funding sources must be guaranteed.

    For Bond/Note Issues:

                Compliance with Uniform Bond Law (ORC Chapter 133)
                Favorable opinion from a nationally recognized bond counsel
                Anticipated revenues must be sufficient to fully retire debt
                Bond Issue, together with other fully committed resources, must be of sufficient amount to ensure project completion

As may be requested, the subdivision shall provide a copy of the most recent applicable audit report and/or documentation of adequate management capacity for the associated infrastructure system.

An application for loan assistance or credit enhancement can not be combined with an application for a grant and/or loan due to administrative issues. There is a separate category for loan assistance / credit enhancement listed on the first page of the application under “Funding Type Requested”. Please contact your district liaison or program representative for assistance in completing your application.

Visit here for more information about applying for funding.

The Local Transportation Improvement Program was created by the legislature in 1989. The OPWC currently receives less than one penny of the annual gasoline tax receipts (approximately $61 million). Since the use of such receipts is constitutionally limited to roads and bridges only counties, cities, villages and townships may apply for these funds. Applicants may apply for grants up to 100% of the project cost.

Visit here for more information about applying for funding.

Of the annual SCIP allocation, $20 million is set aside for the Small Government Program established for villages and townships with populations in the unincorporated areas of less than 5,000 in population. Applicants who apply for funding that are not awarded at the District level can be selected for Small Government consideration by the District Committee as a “second chance” for funding.

Visit here for application materials if selected by the District for Small Government Funding consideration.

The Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program is dedicated to environmental conservation including acquisition of green space and the protection and enhancement of river and stream corridors. Grant recipients agree to maintain the properties in perpetuity to be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come.

Visit here for more information about applying.

Visit here to administer your Clean Ohio project.

The director may set aside up to 6% of the SCIP allocation ($12 million) for the Emergency Program. This program, administered by the director, is for those projects that address immediate health and safety threats and are treated on a first come, first served basis year-round as long as funding is available.

Visit here for more information about applying for funding.