LEETONIA – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Leetonia will receive a portion of $2.1 million in grants associated with the H2Ohio initiative to identify, inventory and map primary service lines in utility systems. public water.
The H2Ohio grant program launched in March with $1.4 million in reserves; however, these funds have increased to $2.1 million in response to the high demand for assistance in identifying and mapping plumb lines.
H2Ohio’s funding includes $1.4 million for mini-grants of up to $50,000 for individual public water systems and $600,000 for RCAP and the Ohio Rural Water Association (ORWA) to provide direct help in identifying and mapping small public water systems.
Leetonia will receive a grant of $37,750 along with primary service line work provided by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).
“By helping local communities develop accurate maps of lead pipe locations, we are one step closer to eliminating the entire state of these toxic pipes,” said DeWine.
Leetonia Mayor Kevin Siembida said he was delighted the village had achieved such success in securing grants to help meet the needs of the village.
“We have been very fortunate as a community to receive all of these grants over the past year or so,” said Siembida.
Funds raised through grants and legislation will give the village potential for the future, according to Siembida.
“It’s all the taxpayers’ money that they’ve been paying for years to the federal and state governments that’s actually theirs,” said Siembida.
According to a press release provided by the governor’s office, the elimination of lead water pipes is an important part of the commitment to community health and well-being.
“It’s really important” Siembida explained. “We have lead water pipes and we need to remove them from the system for the health and well-being of our community.”
While lead water pipes were originally used because of their ability to last for hundreds of years, research has revealed health hazards. According to epa.gov, potential exposure to lead water pipes can be attributed to increased blood pressure, incidence of high blood pressure, decreased kidney function, reproductive issues and adverse health effects.
“It is possible that these lead pipes are leaking lead into the water system,” commented Siembida.