(A) The parks and natural resources local assistance grant program is hereby established to provide grants to local government entities for capital improvements for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, improvement, planning, and equipping of capital projects that enhance the use and enjoyment of natural resources by individuals. Such projects include, but are not limited to, the acquisition of lands, facilities, and waters for public recreation, or for the preservation of wetlands or unique habitats; the development, construction, reconstruction, expansion, or rehabilitation of recreation areas and facilities; and projects to provide public park and recreation opportunities by improving public access or safety. Grants shall not be awarded for administrative, operating, or maintenance costs; or for areas, facilities, or structures for athletics, arts, historic sites, or other purposes, that are not used primarily for public recreation.
The director of natural resources shall administer the parks and natural resources local assistance grant program in accordance with procedures and criteria that the director shall develop with the approval of the recreation and resources council created in section 1501.04 of the Revised Code.
(B) Grants awarded under this section may provide up to seventy-five per cent of the total project costs approved by the director. At least twenty per cent of such costs must be provided by the grant recipient from nonstate, nonfederal sources. Local government entities may apply for grants individually or jointly.
(C) The criteria developed for the administration of the program shall require a local government entity receiving a grant for a project under this section to have sufficient real property interests in the project for the purposes of the obligations issued under this chapter, and shall require that the projects be retained and used in a manner consistent with the purposes of Section 21 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution.
(D) The director shall allocate to each county a portion of the proceeds of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter, for projects of local government entities within each county. The director shall determine each county's allocation by calculating both of the following for each county:
(1) Its per capita share of forty million dollars;
(2) Its per capita share of thirty million dollars plus one hundred thirteen thousand six hundred thirty-six dollars.
The larger of the amount calculated under division (D)(1) or (2) of this section for each county shall be that county's allocation, and whatever percentage of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter that is necessary to satisfy the requirements of division (D) of this section, shall be so allocated.
(E) The director shall allocate to each county a portion of twenty per cent of the proceeds in excess of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter, for projects of local government entities within each county. The director shall determine each county's allocation by calculating both of the following and combining the amounts calculated for each county:
(1) One-third of twenty per cent of the proceeds to be divided equally among all of the counties;
(2) Two-thirds of twenty per cent of the proceeds to be distributed on a per capita basis to each county.
(F) Any moneys granted under division (E) of this section and not obligated within a county after two funding cycles, at the discretion of the director, shall be reallocated to projects either in the county to which they originally were allocated or in other counties demonstrating a need for the funds.
Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 293, §1, eff. 9/14/2016.
Effective Date: 09-29-1997