September 21, 2020 – The Emergency Program has awarded all funds and does not anticipate new appropriation authority until July 1, 2021; however, as existing projects are closed out, any under-run funds are returned providing a possibility to fund new projects. Therefore, pre-applications are being accepted but may be held until funding becomes available. The OPWC Director is permitted to increase annual Emergency funding, starting July 1, 2021, for a maximum of $12 million. Considering the lack of funds at this time and the anticipated increase, we will “look back” and accept pre-applications for review of emergency events that occurred back to July 1, 2020.
This program is for emergency projects that arise directly out of catastrophic situations that involve an immediate threat to public health and safety, require immediate action, and for which there is no alternative way of addressing the project through local funding or other resources. Immediate means a current or recent incident (with the look-back exception noted above). Emergency funds are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, with funding requests accepted year-round dependent on funding availability. Eligible applicants for this funding are those eligible under the State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) which are counties, cities, villages, townships, and 6119 water districts. Infrastructure must be owned and maintained by the applicant and in public right-of-way. If you believe you have a project that qualifies as an emergency begin by first contacting the appropriate program representative. Do not skip this step as it will save time and effort should the project not be considered eligible. The program representative will determine if you should submit qualifying documentation (below) for the Director's consideration. The Director will review and decide based on the nature of the emergency, the financial need of the community, the urgency, and other information supplied with the request.
Based on the Director’s review of this information a Letter of Approval/non-approval will formally notify the applicant of the outcome. If approved, an OPWC Application for Financial Assistance is required to issue a formal agreement with Authorizing Legislation, CFO Certification, and signed/stamped Engineer’s Weighted Useful Life Statement if not previously provided.
USDA Rural Development may be able to provide assistance to help eligible communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water with an Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant. Rural Communities with a population under 10,000 and median household income less than the State of Ohio non-metropolitan median household income may be eligible for a water transmission line grant up to $150,000 to repair breaks, leaks, or create extensions in existing water distribution lines. Water source grants up to $1 million also are available to identify a water source and construct intake or treatment facilities. NOTE: This program is administered by USDA Rural Development headquarters in Washington, D.C., and is subject to competitive scoring. Funding is limited. For more information, please contact Joshua Smith at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-255-2426.