Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) has announced the 7th round of funding for Green Space Conservation - February 2013
Clean Ohio Fund
In spring 2013, appropriate the remaining $52 million in conservation bonds for the Clean Ohio Fund, as approved by voters in 2008. The bonds would be allocated to open space conservation ($39 million), farmland preservation ($6.5 million) and multi-use trail construction ($6.5 million). This request is supported by a broad coalition of representatives from business, hunting and fishing clubs, community development, local government, parks, land trusts and environmental groups.
• The Clean Ohio Fund is a $400 million state bond initiative first approved by Ohio voters in 2000. It was overwhelmingly renewed in all 88 counties in 2008 with strong bipartisan support from the executive and legislative leadership.
• A public-private partnership, Clean Ohio restores, protects and connects Ohio’s natural and urban places by preserving open space and farmland, improving outdoor recreation, and cleaning up brownfields to encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities.
Four separate Clean Ohio programs run a competitive selection process so that Ohioans benefit from the very best projects:
– Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund: supports cleanup of brownfields for redevelopment; only public entities may apply.
– Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program: preserves farmland; local sponsors such as non-profit land trusts and soil and water conservation districts submit an application on the landowner’s behalf.
– Clean Ohio Open Space Conservation Program: preserves and restores open spaces, sensitive ecological areas and stream corridors; non-profit entities and local parks are eligible but not state agencies.
– Clean Ohio Trails Fund: improves outdoor recreational trail opportunities; any public subdivision or non-profit entity in Ohio may apply.
Clean Ohio Fund
An Investment In Economic Revitalization, Family Farms & Environmental Health 388, 708, 153, 246, Clean Ohio Projects by Program: Farmland, Trails, Brownfields, and Green Space.
Development of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cleveland was supported by Clean Ohio.
© The Trust for Public Land
Smith Farm, located in Fairfield County, was preserved with a Clean Ohio agricultural easement.
All 88 Ohio counties have received funding and benefited from the Clean Ohio Fund. This critical state investment has:
- Cleaned up nearly 400 abandoned, polluted sites.
- Preserved over 26,000 acres of natural areas.
- Protected over 39,748 acres of family farms.
- Created over 216 miles of multi-purpose, recreational trails.
- Leveraged additional investments to create a total economic impact of approximately $2.6 billion in public and private investments to date.
• Helps catalyze economic activity in Ohio by creating new jobs and retaining existing ones in construction, goods, services, recreation, eco-tourism and high-tech industries.
• Helps secure our agricultural base, Ohio’s number one industry, by helping to preserve working family farms.
• Helps keep Ohioans’ drinking water safe.
• Protects Lake Erie and rivers and streams by creating natural buffers to keep them clean.
• Cleans and redevelops polluted abandoned industrial properties, protecting neighborhoods and spurring redevelopment.
• Protects natural areas and develops miles of multi-use trails for public access.
• Generates new tax revenues for schools and communities with redevelopment project spin-offs across Ohio.
• Leverages additional investments to create a total economic impact of approximately $2.6 billion to date.
• Does not raise taxes – each $25 million in Clean Ohio Fund bonds requires $2.3 million in annual debt service.
• Helps keep Ohio environmentally sound, economically viable, and poised for the future.
UPDATE – MAY 31, 2013
The goal to include $52 million in Clean Ohio Fund bonding for the three conservation programs in the Ohio FY2014-2015 budget bill is making progress. In April the House-passed version of the budget included $26 million of the bonding. On May 28 the Senate Finance Committee included an additional $26 million in bonding for the Clean Ohio Fund in its version of the budget bill, bringing the total to the goal of $52 million. The full Senate will debate and vote on the budget during the week of June 3. It is expected that the Clean Ohio Fund bonding will remain in the bill.
1. The House and Senate versions of the budget are not the same. A conference committee consisting of a small number of Representatives and Senators will be named to resolve differences in funding levels for programs or policy provisions, creating a final budget bill. It is possible that the Clean Ohio Fund bonding level could be reduced during the negotiations but several key members of the House and Senate have indicated that it is likely that the $52 million bonding will remain.
2. The final bill will then be voted on by the House and Senate and sent to Governor Kasich for his review and signature.
3. The Governor has line-item veto authority in a budget bill, which means that he can remove a policy provision or funding for a program that he does not support, including Clean Ohio. At this time Clean Ohio supporters are hopeful that funding will remain.
4. By law the budget must be passed and signed by the Governor by June 30 as the new two-year budget cycle begins on July 1st.
Clean Ohio Fund
The Nature Conservancy's Kitty Todd Nature Preserve in Northwest Ohio is supported in part by Clean Ohio funding.
© Randall Schieber
The site for the current Ohio Valley Surgical Center in Springfield was revitalized using Clean Ohio funding.
© Ohio Development Services Agency