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Hamilton County Preparing For State's Next Capital Budget

mike dewine state budget
Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine signs Ohio's two-year state budget into law on July 18, 2019.

Ohio lawmakers approved the state's two-year operating budget in July, and now local officials are getting projects lined up hoping to be included in the state's capital budget next year.  
Hamilton County Administrator Jeff Aluotto told county commissioners Tuesday the application process will begin later this fall.  

He said there are specific projects that are eligible and others that are not.

"A lot of the time, some of the things that are some of our most driving needs from a capital perspective are not typically eligible for state capital funding," Aluotto said. "But that being said we have made great use of the partnership on the state capital grant program in the past."

Some things that can be funded with state capital dollars:

  • Emergency response
  • Infrastructure
  • Disaster relief
  • Juvenile detention facilities/juvenile correction facilities/local jail facilities
  • Professional sports facilities
  • Memorials and monuments
  • Treatment centers
  • Community facilities for mental health and developmental disabilities
  • Alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities

Some projects that seem to be related to basic government services are not eligible for state capital funding:

  • Facilities for city, county, local government
  • Operating expenses
  • Economic development projects
  • Transit authorities
  • Police and fire stations
  • County sheriff's offices

In the last state capital budget, Hamilton County received $2.5 million to create treatment space at the justice center.  
Hamilton County has also received $12.5 million for Banks infrastructure work from the state.  

County commissioner Todd Portune said a collaborative process is better, but there are agencies that go around that.

"I know the county's always worked in good faith and has honored that process but we have found ourselves sadly sometimes on the outside looking in because we worked with the process and others didn't," Portune said. "And they did sort of an end run around it and got their funding."

Ohio lawmakers are expected to debate the capital budget early next year and make funding decisions by the end of June.

County commissioners will hear more about the process in three weeks.