Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Kasich to sign 2-year capital budget

Hensville, Toledo Zoo Aquarium among Ohio projects sharing $2.4B

Among numerous funded projects are:

■ $16 million for BGSU’s Moseley Hall Science Laboratories.
■ $6 million for Lake Erie island state parks.
■ $4.75 million for Owens Community College’s Kingsley and Heritage halls — the former Penta vocational school.
■ $3.5 million for the University of Toledo’s anatomy specimen storage facility.
■ $3 million in University of Toledo campus infrastructure improvements.
■ $2 million for the Northwest Ohio Plastics Training Center at UT.
■ $1.5 million for Lima Stadium Park.
■ $1.4 million for a Student Services and Advising Center at Northwest State Community College in Archbold.
■ $1.2 million for Terra State Community College’s Campus Entrance Road.
■ $1 million for the University of Toledo’s collaboration with Northwest and Terra State community colleges on a $4.7 million work force development center.
■ $1 million for an $8.3 million Fulton County Visitor and Heritage Center museum north of the turnpike on State Rt. 108.
■ $1 million for Findlay Central Auditorium.
■ $695,000 for Imagination Station improvements.
■ $400,000 toward a $2.5 million extension of the Sylvania River Trail along Ten Mile Creek.
■ $250,000 for ProMedica Transformative Low-Income Medical Senior Housing.
■ $220,000 toward a $330,000 plan to add an elevator and two second-floor, handicapped-accessible restrooms for the 122-year-old Pemberville Opera House.
■ $150,000 for the Toledo Repertoire Theater.
■ $136,000 for the Valentine Theatre Initiative. The Valentine funding will contribute to planned rehabilitation and upgrades of the historic theater's infrastructure, according to a Toledo Chamber of Commerce summary of the local proposals. The project's total cost is estimated at $2.1 million, and the chamber had requested a $450,000 state contribution.

COLUMBUS — A $2.4 billion infusion of borrowed cash will pour into new and renovated buildings on university campuses, K-12 schools, improved downtowns, and upgraded theaters, parks, and historic sites under a two-year capital budget headed for Gov. John Kasich’s desk.

The Republican governor wasted little time to sign the bill into law. He will appear at an event today with Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman, a Democrat and former Toledoan, for a mock signing at the vacant Reeb School, now owned by the city and slated to get $2 million for renovations under the budget.

Among other projects, the plan holds $1.5 million toward a total proposed $21 million transformation of part of Toledo’s Warehouse District into Hensville — a shopping, dining, residential, and concert district centered on Mud Hens baseball at Fifth Third Field.

The Toledo Zoo Aquarium is set to receive $750,000 for its leafy sea dragon exhibit and a related touch-tank at Bowling Green State University for marine biology internships.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s plans for a new state forensics laboratory on the BGSU campus will receive $2.5 million.

The budget also includes $10 million to help develop alternatives to dumping potentially toxic silt dredged from Ohio harbors into Lake Erie’s open waters.

This marks the first time in six years that Ohio’s capital budget includes funding for so-called community projects.

In some cases, maintenance of college buildings, park lodges, and other structures has been deferred because of a lack of funding.

Along with recent borrowing against the Ohio Turnpike and a proposed renewal of a local public-works bond issue to appear on the May 6 primary ballot, Mr. Kasich hopes to convert billions into construction jobs through investment in the state’s infrastructure.

State Sen. Scott Oeslager (R., Canton), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the bill is expected to create 31,000 jobs over several years.

“This is a good investment in Ohio’s future,” he said. “... I have no doubt this capital bill will be a critical catalyst to our economic development.”

The capital budget had largely been set in stone from the moment Mr. Kasich’s office handed it to lawmakers. The House made no substantive changes, and the Senate rubber-stamped the plan Tuesday by a vote of 30-1 to ensure it could get to the governor for his signature today. It will take effect in 90 days.

The bill, which holds $29.3 million for Lucas County projects, garnered just three negative votes total in both chambers. All northwest Ohio senators supported it Tuesday.

“One of my priorities was to provide funding for the African American Legacy Project, and I am very pleased to see that support for the completion of their Phase II plans has remained a part of the bill,” said state Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo).

The budget provides $75,000 for the legacy project facility.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.

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