The past decade has seen considerable progress as job growth has remained steady and communities across the state have experienced promising comebacks. Yet, cities and towns across the Buckeye state continue to struggle to fund sites for new businesses and employees, and many of Ohio’s businesses are desperate to connect workers to job opportunities. Communities big and small are looking to enhance their quality of life for their citizens. These challenges threaten to obstruct the advancements that have been made across Ohio.
The mission of the Greater Ohio Policy Center is to champion revitalization and sustainable growth. We believe Ohio deserves robust, effective policies and practices that reinvigorate communities, strengthen regional cooperation, and preserve open spaces and farmland.
What follows are recommendations for Ohio’s next statewide leaders and legislative policymakers for building on Ohio’s recent success by recognizing potential, leveraging momentum, connecting people to places, and reviving our most important assets to ensure a Greater Ohio.
Greater Ohio Policy Center's 2018 Policy Platform
Increase New Opportunities for Job Growth and Residential Development by Redeveloping Brownfields
Streamline Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) by providing options in addition to the covenant not to sue. Making regulatory reforms that provide legal assurances from the state to prospective landowners and real estate developers who did not contaminate a site under consideration.
Establish a new Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund that is designed for long-term stability, and would provide $25 million annually for brownfield clean-up and revitalization. This funding would complement and enhance current brownfield programs focused on industrial expansion.
Better connect workers to jobs by innovating ohio's transportation system
Establish a source of Dedicated Funding for Public Transportation, derived from existing revenue sources that provides $30 million per year to ensure workers connect to jobs and Ohio’s vulnerable populations have access to safe, reliable transportation options.
Adopt a Statewide Active Transportation Policy that ensures the state’s roadways can safely accommodate all types of users and is sensitive to local context, facilitating the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services.
Bolster economic competitiveness by ensuring communities have the means to engineer long-term prosperity
Expand the scope of JobsOhio to include support for activities to assist cities and towns competing for jobs and skilled workers to create places where people want to work, live and recreate.
Incentivize public/private collaboration with state grant allocations for initiatives focused on local community and economic development.
Take On the Challenge of Improving Aging Infrastructure by Promoting Shared Resources and Partnerships to Improve Water and Sewer Services
Increase financial and regulatory incentives for shared services and regional coordination of small drinking water systems. Ohio has hundreds of small water systems that are under severe financial stress to meet regulatory requirements and upgrade facilities. Sharing facilities, personnel, or administrative functions can lower costs and ensure that appropriate management and technical personnel are in place.
Provide the Ohio EPA or Ohio Water Development Authority with additional state funds to help keep affordability within acceptable bounds. Ohio can follow other states by using grant funding strategically to keep the affordability of capital projects within acceptable limits.
Couple asset management plans with improved statewide data collection Couple asset management plans with improved statewide data collection on key utility performance statistics. The state should take the lead in creating a reporting system that is publicly accessible and benchmarks financial, operational, and service activities.