Emergency Program

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 as a result of a catastrophic event resulting in 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.smith7@usda.gov or 614-255-2426.

The applicant must complete the Pre-Application, which contains the following, and attach additional information as described.

  • Describe the nature of the emergency — Provide a description of the project and the reason for the emergency. Describe the event and the threat to health and safety. This includes the loss of vital or emergency services requiring an unreasonable delay or detour. Problems resulting from neglect, inadequate maintenance, poor planning, or caused by aging and/or normal deterioration are ineligible.
  • Status of alternative infrastructure — Is other infrastructure available to compensate for the failed system? Include information on any alternative routes for road and bridge projects.
  • Availability of other funding sources — Are any other funds (federal, state or local) available? List any other funding agencies that have been contacted.
  • History — How long has the applicant been aware of the problem?
  • Project Schedule — The project must be ready to proceed immediately. Include a project schedule.

Include the following documentation:

  • Photographs and a map showing the location of the emergency, include ADT counts, and any possible detours required for emergency and residential access, if applicable.
  • A detailed cost estimate from a registered professional engineer with a useful life statement. 
  • Provide any additional information deemed relevant (e.g. letters from local officials and residents, newspaper reports, etc.).

The pre-application with required documentation must be sent via email to the appropriate OPWC program representative.

If you have been selected and notified that you are eligible for Emergency Program funding, please fill out the application below. The Ohio Public Works Commission uses one project application for funding for all infrastructure programs including SCIP, LTIP, Emergency, Small Government and Loan Assistance/Credit Enhancement. Please use the links below for the application instructions, forms, and required attachments.

Application Instructions 

Application Form              

Application Attachment Templates:

•  Authorizing Legislation 

•  CFO Certification of Local Funds and Repayment Letter 

•  Engineer's Estimate and Useful Life Statement 

•  Cooperative Agreement (Multiple Jurisdictions) 

•  Farmland Preservation Review Letter 


4th Street Culvert Repair, Tipp City

Sinkhole Repairs, City of Toledo

Emergency Road Repairs, Gallia County

Culvert Repair, Licking County