Friday, June 15, 2012

Clean Ohio Funding in place

This from the Tecumseh Land Trust:

Monday afternoon Governor Kasich signed the mid-biennium review bill which contained $42 million dollars for the Clean Ohio Fund Open Space and Agricultural Easement Purchase Programs. Grassroots organizations across the state have been working with Ohio legislators and the Governor’s office to put the funds in place for the three “green” Clean Ohio programs. $6 million was approved for the other green Clean Ohio program -- Trails – in the capital bill this spring.

The Clean Ohio Fund, which also includes a Brownfield Redevelopment Fund, was reauthorized overwhelmingly by the voters in 2008. The “green side” of the program provides highly competitive funds to preserve the best farmland, preserve and acquire open space, and build trails all across the state. The 2008 ballot initiative was approved in all 88 counties. However, a budget bill was needed to authorize the sale of the bonds in order for funds to be available for new applications to the three green programs.

Krista Magaw, executive director of Tecumseh Land Trust says, “we are absolutely thrilled to have Clean Ohio funded again. In this business, timing is everything and we never want to lose momentum among interested landowners. We are incredibly grateful to Senator Chris Widener for making certain the funds were included in this budget bill and to Governor Kasich for signing the bill.”

To date, Tecumseh Land Trust has protected 9029 acres of prime farmland in Clark and Greene Counties through the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program of Clean Ohio. The land trust has protected and additional 2618 acres of land traversed by streams, rivers, and wetlands through Clean Ohio’s Open Space program.

It will take a few months for the three agencies that administer the green programs to be ready to announce application periods and guidelines. But by this fall new rounds of Clean Ohio programs should be in full swing.

Photo:  Krista Magaw, executive director of Tecumseh Land Trust with Robert Daniels, Director Ohio Department of Agriculture

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