Fayette County will have a few projects completed that are expected help to revitalize or update the area – the largest of which will help emergency communication and cost over $1 million – pending legislative approval.
State Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) and State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) announced recently the projects included in Senate Bill 310—the state’s capital budget bill—which appropriates funding for local projects throughout Ohio and the 92nd House District.
Specifically, Senate Bill 310 invests in three county projects that were requested by Rep. Scherer and Sen. Peterson on behalf of the residents of the district and include: $1,385,941 for the Fayette County MARCS Tower project, $25,000 for the Fayette County Museum and $100,000 for the Washington Court House historic middle school auditorium.
MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System) is an 700/800 MHz radio and data network that utilizes state-of-the-art trunked technology to provide statewide interoperability in digital clarity to its subscribers throughout Ohio and a 10-mile radius outside of Ohio. The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for public safety and first responders.
“I know that Clinton, Greene and Highland counties are trying to get on the MARCS system to get better coverage,” Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said. “As we are growing and getting more agencies on there, we are needing better coverage and needing more towers. I do not know exactly where the new tower is going to be, but the idea is that the new tower will benefit the region of Highland, Clinton and Fayette counties specifically.”
According to Sheriff Stanforth, the project will help to expand bandwidth and bring more mobile data communication, in addition to the voice communication, to the officers around the area. The tower will benefit, in addition to the sheriff’s offices, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, ODOT and other emergency agencies. All of these agencies will benefit from a more reliable connection. The timeline on this project is unknown.
“There is more work that they need to do (at the Historic Washington Middle School Auditorium),” Commissioner Dan Dean said. “Pam Fife has been instrumental in getting the grant for that. They send it to our office and we recommend them as a good project for the county. The museum, I believe, is going to use that money to redo their HVAC system. They used some money from the Ohio Historical Connection Grant to redo the windows. Now they will have it pretty airtight and with a Travel and Tourism grant this year, they plan to redo the doors on the building.”
“The projects expected to be funded under this legislation are crucial for the revitalization and economic development of the 92nd House District and the southern region of Ohio,” said Rep. Scherer. “The collaborative process between the state legislature, the administration, and local leaders to accomplish what the capital bill provides for our communities is certainly something to be proud of.”
“I am proud to have worked with local leaders to get these projects funded in the capital bill,” said Sen. Peterson. “Our district will benefit from these exciting projects for years to come. I look forward to seeing their completion and use by the public.”
The capital budget focuses on the most pressing needs of state government, schools, and economic development within Ohio’s communities. It is a collaborative process involving state and local leaders, the economic development community, the arts community, and others to provide guidance on local investments, while balancing the state’s need for fiscal restraint and responsibility.
Other projects included from the two were: $150,000 for the Circleville Memorial Hall, $200,000 for the Everts Community and Arts Center, $1,000,000 for the Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center, $200,000 for the Coppel Soccer Complex improvements and $750,000 for phase II of the Majestic Theatre Renovation project.
Senate Bill 310 will be first considered in the Senate Finance Committee and upon passage in the Senate will be reviewed in the House Finance Committee. Following passage from both the Senate and House, the bill requires the Governor’s signature for adoption. Funds are contingent upon enactment of Senate Bill 310.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy