Licking County facilities stand to gain nearly $80 million in state spending on public works projects outlined in bills being considered by the Ohio House and Senate. Voting on the bills with total spending of $4.2 billion in state and federal tax dollars in the 2025-26 fiscal years could happen as soon as the week of June 24.

Included in the proposed allocation for Licking County is nearly $28.5 million from a total of $700 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds that remained unspent in Ohio and would be awarded as one-time grants.

If the bills are approved and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, more than half of the funding designated for Licking County would go to construction projects at two state facilities in southwestern Licking County – the Ohio Department of Agriculture headquarters and the State Fire Academy, both of which are on Rt. 40 in Reynoldsburg.

The Agriculture Department would receive $19,260,000 for equipment and renovations of buildings, and the Fire Academy would receive $23,700,000 for a building and apparatus to train firefighters, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis of House Bill 629.

From the remaining  funds designated specifically for Licking County projects, the Buckeye Lake North Shore Park and Pier project would receive the most at $11 million, followed by The Ohio State University Newark and Central Ohio Technical College, which share a campus on the west side of Newark, which would receive a combined total of almost $4.2 million.

Here’s the breakdown on proposed spending outside of the state facilities in Reynoldsburg:

·  Buckeye Lake North Shore Park and Pier: $8,500,000 (COVID relief)
·  Buckeye Lake North Shore Park and Pier: $2,500,000
·  Licking Memorial Health Systems Education and Event Center: $3,000,000 (COVID relief)
·  Central Ohio Technical College projects (Newark): $2,467,970
o Evans Hall renovation $767,000
o LeFevre Hall chiller and cooling tower replacement: $450,970
o Pavement improvements: 250,000
o Hopewell and Adena halls faculty office renovations: $250,000
o Campus entrance road: $750,000
· Newark Towne Center project: $1,854,000 (COVID relief)
· Ohio State University Newark projects (Newark): $1,700,000
o Pavement improvements: $250,000
o Hopewell and Adena halls faculty office renovations: $250,000
o New campus entrance: $750,000
· Mink Street water infrastructure (Johnstown): $500,000 (COVID relief)
· Dawes Arboretum improvements (Licking Township): $300,000
·  Buckeye Valley Family YMCA Pataskala childcare center: $200,000 (COVID relief)
·  Davis Shai House technology update (Heath): $150,000
·  High Point Park improvements (Etna): $150,000
·  Mary Ann Township Fire Department: $66,000
·  Hanover Hains Hill Drive drainage improvements: $52,000
·  Junior Achievement regional satellite learning center: $50,000
·  Boys and Girls Club of Newark: $46,195

Alan Miller writes for, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s Journalism program, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation and donations from readers.Sign up for The Reporting Project newsletter here.

Alan Miller

Alan Miller teaches journalism and writes for, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University's Journalism Program. He is the former executive editor of The Columbus Dispatch and former Regional Editor for Gannett's 21-newsroom USAToday Network Ohio.