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4-County Funds

Andy Ouriel • Mar 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM

A wave of cash could come crashing toward many notable public venues in northern Ohio. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s $2.4 billion proposed capital budget, or funding requests for long-term investments, calls for injecting more than $16 million across Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky counties.

Lawmakers must now approve Kasich’s budget before doling out these funds.

The Register caught up with officials affiliated with some projects slated to receive state money in hopes of better understanding these local initiatives:

Ohio Veterans Home facility upgrades, Perkins Township

•Amount proposed: $8.71 million

•Funds for: replacing windows in various halls, upgrading HVAC mechanical systems in resident rooms in Veterans Hall, relocating pharmacy and purchasing more equipment to operate the center more efficiently and safely.

“The upgrades to the facility will benefit the health and well-being of all residents and institute physical improvements that will reduce operating costs. Additionally, the construction proposed in the budget will help retain and create jobs in the Sandusky area” — Mike McKinney, Ohio Veterans Home spokesman

Lonz Winery cleanup and revitalization effort, Middle Bass Island State Park

•Amount proposed: $6 million

•Funds for: renovating support work on the main winery building, including initial structural repairs, and removing asbestos and hazardous materials.

“Construction (will begin) in the spring of 2014 on the press house facility, utility extensions and new public restrooms” — Matt Eiselstein, Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman

Terra State Community College campus entrance road project, Fremont

•Amount proposed: $1.2 million

•Funds for: constructing a new vehicular main access artery located off of Ohio 53 and U.S. 6.

“This new entrance will address safety issues at the Napoleon Road entrance to campus, promote visibility of the college with a signature entrance, improve campus traffic movement, improve ingress/egress safety and facilitate economic growth in the campus area” — Mary McCue, Terra State Community College marketing services director

Norwalk Area Opportunities Center, Norwalk

•Amount proposed: $250,000

•Funds for: remodeling a Benedict Avenue building to create local opportunities for business retention and attraction.

“The Norwalk Area Opportunities Center would be available to anyone in the area and will be a resource center, focusing on supporting existing businesses, entrepreneurial growth and sustainability, alumni outreach, workforce development and business attraction” — Ellen Heinz, Norwalk Economic Development Corp. director 

Train viewing platform, Willard

•Amount proposed: $50,000

•Funds for: creating a train platform on land at Motson and Second streets so people can view locomotives and accompanying cars rumble by. Plans also call for building a playground and restroom shelter.

“We want people to come spend time to observe the trains. We have about 110 trains going through this community each day, and people could sit there with their sack lunches and their cameras and observe the trains” — Donald Graham, Willard economic development president

Note: The budget also calls for improvements totaling $50,000 at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont and $32,300 for a soccer shelter in Norwalk.

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