November 18, 2014 - 5:22pm -- bolen.8

What service and infrastructure improvements would benefit your community? Imagine the possibilities... now go for it!

Decreasing local government funds coupled with increasing material and equipment costs require government entities, first responders and non-profit organizations to seek grants to cover the expenses of specific projects and programs.

Recent Extension efforts in Washington County have resulted in grant funding for new fire safety equipment. The Little Muskingum Volunteer Fire Department, a rural volunteer department, was able to purchase a new four-wheel drive rescue squad. Community Development Block Grant, Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, Marietta Community Foundation and numerous businesses and individuals contributed to the existing department funds for this life-saving equipment that serves over 1700 residents in a four-township area.

Economic growth and development relies on infrastructure to expand community resources. Financing for local public infrastructure improvement is provided by the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC). Emergency road and bridge repair assistance for qualifying projects that pose an immediate threat is a part of the OPWC funding program.

In times of federal and/or state declared disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) offer communities financial assistance in recovery from damages due to disasters. Through Emergency Management Performance Grants - Special Projects Program (EMPG) our county was able to renovate an existing building for a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center. During disasters, this center coordinates the response activities of multiple agencies.

Grant funding is competitive and requires research, planning, organizing and writing. OSU Extension professionals are available to help you learn more about grant writing.