Monday, November 05, 2001

Clean Ohio groups chosen

Committees to pick sites

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Government officials, Realtors and conservationists have been named to two councils that will decide what communities get more than $4.3 million next year for projects under Ohio's new Clean Ohio Fund program.

        The 22 members elected to the Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) representing five Southwestern Ohio counties will begin meeting this month to dis cuss a system for ranking applications.

        The Clean Ohio Fund, approved by state voters last November, will generate about $100 million a year for greenspace preservation and brownfield revitalization projects.

        Of that $100 million, $37.5 million is reserved for greenspace and watershed conservation programs.

        The money is divided among the districts in Ohio that determine which communities get funds from Ohio Public Works Commission for infrastructure projects like road and bridge work.

        District 2 is made up of just Hamilton County, while District 10 represents Clermont, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties.

        The integrating committees of those two districts elected 11 people to each NRAC committee. Hamilton County will receive almost $2.3 million next year for greenspace projects, while the other four will receive almost $2.2 million.

        “About 45 people were nominated in our four-county region,” said Dennis Krall, liaison for District 10 and chief deputy of the Butler County Engineer's Office. “Eleven were chosen.”

        The 11 include the city manager of Franklin, the director of the Clermont County Park District, a representative from Stonelick Township in Clermont County, a representative of the city of Wilmington parks and recreation department, and someone from the Izaak Walton League.

        The 11 elected by the District 2 integrating committee from Hamilton County have an organizational meeting on Nov. 14.

        “They will eventually come up with their own rating system,” said Joe Cottrill, liaison for the integrating committee who works for the Hamilton County Engi neer's Office. He added the 11 were chosen from more than 30 candidates.

        The members include the city manager of Forest Park, and representatives from the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District, Hamilton County Park District, Cincinnati Park Board and Ohio Association of Realtors.

        Mr. Cottrill and Mr. Krall think applications could start coming in from communities beginning at the end of this year and early next year. Decisions about awarding the money would be made until mid-2002.


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