Probably the most important responsibility of a local government, whether it be a county, township or municipality, is to keep its residents safe. During this time of year, that largely involves things like keeping the roadways clear of snow and ice and responding quickly to the scene of an accident or fire.
The jobs that our police, firefighters and first responders perform are truly selfless acts that improve and often save lives in our communities. So many of those responsibilities require the use of equipment like vehicles or facilities in order to complete the jobs promptly and effectively, and periodically that equipment needs to be upgraded. Thanks to a proposal that originated in the Ohio House and that was signed into law in last year’s state operating budget, local governments and political subdivisions will have the opportunity to apply for state grants for purchasing the equipment and tools they need to improve public safety in their areas.
Local governments have more than a month to apply for the grants, starting now and ending March 21. The limit for request amounts is $100,000 per political subdivision, and all applications must be submitted online. The Local Government Innovation Council will make final decisions in May. The application is open to counties, townships and municipalities, as well as to most police, fire, ambulance and emergency medical services districts. More information is available at www.development.ohio.gov.
The grant application process is open to all corners of the state, but I would like to encourage the local government bodies in Clinton, Highland, Pike and Ross counties particularly to consider applying. With $20 million appropriated for the program over the next two years, this presents an opportunity for local communities to invest in the safety of our neighborhoods.
We all depend on the efforts of our police, fire and emergency personnel to keep us and our loved ones safe. This grant program can provide a great tool to hopefully make their jobs easier and our neighbors better protected. If anyone has questions about the Local Government Safety Capital Grant, I encourage you to contact my office and we will be happy to help.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.