STATE TRANSPORTATION

Catawba Island man to fill seat on turnpike panel

9/7/2013
BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS — Gov. John Kasich on Friday appointed Timothy J. Paradiso of Catawba Island to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission for a term through June, 2018.

He fills a seat added to the panel when it was recently restructured to take on the new role of helping to finance highway and bridge construction projects elsewhere in Ohio in addition to running the toll road.

Mr. Paradiso is president of the Ashley Group, a Maumee-based insurance agency for employers and businesses. He heads the health benefits division.

One of his first votes on Monday will be to determine which projects, some of them well away from the turnpike corridor, will be among the first round partly financed by proceeds from what will ultimately be $1.5 billion in borrowing guaranteed by future toll collections. The borrowing is expected to be matched by federal and local funds for a total building program of $3 billion.

The state Transportation Review Advisory Council recently presented a number of projects to the commission for funding that it claims meet the requirements of being within 75 miles of and having some relationship with the toll road.

Among them are a $176 million reconstructed I-475/‚ÄčI-75 interchange in central Toledo and nearly $260 million in widening, bridge, and other improvements to I-75 in Lucas, Wood, and Hancock counties.

A review of campaign-finance filings with the secretary of state’s office shows that Mr. Paradiso gave $300 to Mr. Kasich’s campaign in 2010 while his wife, Sandra, contributed a total of $6,500 in 2010 and 2013.

Mr. Paradiso has a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University. He’s on the executive committee and leads the Policy and Academic Affairs Committee of Tiffin University.