For the purpose of promoting local or regional economic or community development, the chief of the division of mineral resources management, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may make grants of money from the unreclaimed lands fund created by section 1513.30 of the Revised Code for the payment by the state of up to seventy-five per cent of the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by a political subdivision, community improvement corporation incorporated under Chapter 1724. of the Revised Code, or other nonprofit corporation incorporated under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code for the reclamation of any unreclaimed land affected by mining before April 10, 1972, or pursuant to a license issued before April 10, 1972, that is owned by the political subdivision or corporation, is to be reclaimed for the purpose of commercial or industrial site development by the political subdivision or corporation or the development of recreational facilities by the political subdivision, and lies within the boundaries of a project area approved by the council on unreclaimed strip mined lands, in accordance with a plan of reclamation approved by the chief.
The owner shall submit an application for a grant on forms furnished by the division of mineral resources management together with detailed plans and topographic maps indicating the reclamation improvements to be made, an itemized estimate of the project's cost, a description of the project's benefits, and such other information as the chief prescribes. The chief may award the applicant a grant only after finding that the proposed reclamation work will render the unreclaimed land suitable for commercial, industrial, or, if the land is owned by a political subdivision, recreational site development and will substantially reduce or eliminate the damage, if any, to adjacent property that is or may be caused by the condition of the unreclaimed land.
The chief shall determine the amount of the grant based upon the chief's determination of what constitutes reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred for preparing the plan of reclamation; preparing the unreclaimed land for commercial, industrial, or, in the case of land owned by a political subdivision, recreational site development, including backfilling, grading, resoiling, planting, or other work to restore the land to a condition suitable for such development; and, if the condition of the unreclaimed land so requires, establishing vegetative cover or substantially reducing or eliminating erosion, sedimentation, landslides, pollution, accumulation or discharge of acid water, flooding, or damage to adjacent property. The owner may have other improvements made concurrently with the reclamation work, but shall not spend any part of the grant for such other improvements. No grant shall exceed seventy-five per cent of the total amount, as determined by the chief, of what constitutes reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred for the reclamation measures listed in this section.
The chief shall enter into a contract for funding with each applicant awarded a grant in order to ensure that the moneys granted are used for the purposes of this section and that the reclamation work is properly done. The final payment under a grant may not be made until the chief inspects and approves the completed reclamation work.
Effective Date: 06-14-2000