Message from TMACOG President
Water Quality Agenda for Lake Erie
Clean Ohio Fund
Welcome new member
Like every government and business, TMACOG is continually evaluating our best response to the COVID-19 health crisis. We, like most of you, cancelled most in-person meetings and established social distancing to do our part to slow the spread. As we think about the months ahead, we are weighing how to handle future meetings and other important annual events including the Summer Caucus with Lawmakers scheduled for July 29. We are following government guidelines and we will keep in touch with you as our society evolves from our present challenge and decisions are made.
A thank you is due to our resourceful staff and TMACOG members who have gamely embraced video conferencing as a way to get things done. Water Quality committees and Transportation committees are meeting as needed to move ahead with their work. Our Board of Trustees and Executive Committees are also meeting to review and vote on required documents. It has been a tension-reliever to see a lot of adorable small children and a surprising number of pets who show up in the background. Thank you for being flexible and for being committed to TMACOG and our mission.
Meeting details, including log in information and access codes, are posted on the TMACOG events calendar on the home page of tmacog.org. We are doing our best to keep this public notice document current and useful. These virtual meetings are an excellent time for you to drop in on a meeting that you have interest in. All posted meetings are open to the public and we welcome visitors.
We still have a lot of important work to do on behalf of the region we share and look forward to continuing that in partnership with you.
May is Bike Month
|Click the code for
||Ride of Silence Virtual
Program - May 20.
||Safe cycling videos
||Bike maps and trails
Funding Available for Bridge Replacement
through May 15
The Ohio Bridge Partnership Program (OBPP) through ODOT is accepting applications for funds that will be distributed during state fiscal year 2024 (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024). Applications are due by May 15, 2020. The grants will provide 100 percent of eligible construction and construction engineering up to $1 million per bridge replacement project. Local entities are responsible for the costs of preliminary engineering, environmental studies, final design, and right-of-way.
Eligible projects must:
• have a general appraisal rating of 4 or below
• be open to vehicular traffic
• be owned by a municipality or county
• be non-historic
• meet the federal definition of a bridge (greater than 20’ in length)
• be structurally deficient
The application and additional program guidance are online here. Lisa Householder, TMACOG transportation planner, is familiar with the program and can help answer questions about which projects qualify: email@example.com.
For additional questions, please contact Jeff Peyton, OBPP Manager, at Jeff.Peyton@dot.ohio.gov or 614. 466.2032. Due to teleworking conditions, email is the preferred method of contact.
TMACOG staff is completing the approval process for the fiscal year 2021 -2024 Transportation Improvement Program. The fiscal year 2021 -2024 TIP will include approximately $429 million in programmed projects from all sources: $308 million in federal dollars, $58 million in state, and $63 million local.
The TMACOG managed TIP funds are ranked and programmed by the TIP Committee based on community need, the value to the transportation system, and are constrained by funds available. The TIP was approved by the Transportation Council on April 1, and by the Board of Trustees on April 15. If all goes according to schedule, the 2021-2024 TIP will be approved by the U.S. DOT on July 1, 2020 and become effective immediately.
See an interactive map of projects here that allows you to view individual projects.
To comment directly on the TIP or for more information, contact Lance Dasher, 419.241.9155, ext. 1115.
TMACOG staff and members are finalizing a required update to the long range transportation plan, the 2045 Plan. Public meetings and a public comment period are concluded with no issues raised that will affect the draft plan. The Transportation Planning committee approved the draft April 21. The Transportation Council will review and vote in May and it will be presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2020 for final approval.
See maps and lists of committed projects, priority projects, and non-motorized projects here: http://www.tmacog.org/onthemove/. The 2045 Plan also includes initiatives and policies that direct regional decision-making.
Air Quality Improvements Likely Temporary
The COVID-19 health emergency, which has sickened millions and stalled the economy, has also led to drastic drops in air pollution linked to transportation and industry. Studies in California and Colorado show significant drops in carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates, and nitrogen oxides--up to 80 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide in Denver. In the UK, some cities have seen nitrogen dioxide levels fall by up to 60 percent over the same period last year...read more
Agenda for Lake Erie
TMACOG staff and partners are beginning the update of the Agenda for Lake Erie, TMACOG’s water quality policy document. Members of TMACOG’s Water Quality committees are urged to review this document and provide feedback in their areas of interest or expertise.
Kari Gerwin, director of Water Quality Planning said, “The policy agenda establishes the foundation for regional advocacy on behalf of Lake Erie, local streams, and the local governments that provide water and sewer services. It serves as the framework for engaging state and federal legislators and regulating agencies, so it’s very important that we hear thoughtful feedback.”
Regional stakeholders including boaters, fishermen, researchers, farmers, and others who recognize the importance of the health of Lake Erie are also invited to contribute thoughts and ideas. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GLRI receives $20 million in additional funding
The EPA announced in mid-April that an additional $20 million has been appropriated for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding for fiscal year 2020. The GLRI was established in 2010 and has been funded for approximately $3.48 billion through 2020. In Lucas County, $734,548 has been allocated to design and construct a two-stage ditch in Van Fleet Ditch, located within the Swan Creek sub-watershed of the Maumee River watershed. The installation of the two-stage ditch will result in the creation of 3.9 acres of total riparian area and 3,050 linear feet of new floodplain. By slowing and capturing run-off, the project will ultimately reduce annual loads of phosphorus, sediment and nitrogen...read more
Clean Ohio Funds: Lucas County
TMACOG helps manage the application and ranking process for the Lucas County distribution of Clean Ohio Funds through District 12 Natural Resources Assistance Council. The council met via teleconference on April 9 to review applications for the current round of grants totaling $1,198,662. Four projects, all submitted by Metroparks Toledo, were recommended for funding.
The projects include two expansions for Oak Openings Metropark, an expansion of the Oak Openings corridor to protect habitat for native species including Box and Blanding’s turtles, and acquisition of part of an island in the Maumee River that protects habitat important to migrating birds.
The Ohio Public Works Commission has advised that the next round of Clean Ohio funding is postponed until further notice due to budgetary concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be added to the OPWC and TMACOG NRAC websites as they are available.
Great Lakes One Water: GLOW
TMACOG is joining a new initiative organized by community foundations throughout the Great Lakes region. The Lake Erie iteration of Great Lakes One Water (or GLOW) is a group of seven communities around Lake Erie that are focusing on smart citizen science. TMACOG will partner with Metroparks Toledo to provide leadership and tools for citizen science in the western basin region.
The project has a three-year timeline that kicked off in April 2020. The first phase of the GLOW project is staff training with 3D printed sensors that measure nitrates and phosphates in water. Once the staff master the sensors, they will be sharing tools and equipment with the classroom teachers of the Student Watershed Watch and other local partners involved in water quality exploration and research.
TMACOG’s Sara Guiher is learning how to use the new sensor. Guiher manages the Student Watershed Watch and will be sharing what she learns at teacher training programs. TMACOG staff will be training remotely via video and webinar.
Welcome Lake Erie Waterkeeper
At its March 2020 meeting, the TMACOG Executive Committee approved the application of Lake Erie Waterkeeper as a new non-governmental member. Lake Erie Waterkeeper is a non-profit organization founded in 2004. Its mission is to seek to have fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for the Lake Erie Watershed. Its members work to accomplish that mission through advocacy, education, litigation, and innovation.
Sandy Bihn, executive director, and other members of the group are active in Water Quality committees and councils. Learn more at https://lakeeriewaterkeeper.org/.
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See our Calendar for updates & essential meetings.
TMACOG staff are working from home offices.
The TMACOG offices will be closed during this time. Email is the best way to contact all staff. To join
a TMACOG video conference, visit our meeting calendar at tmacog.org for complete log-in information.