The new state budget (House Bill 166) — passed and signed in mid-July — includes a provision to create the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program. Under this new program, certain port authorities can apply for grants to construct new marine cargo terminals or improve existing terminals on the shores of Lake Erie or the Ohio River. Funded at $23 million over the biennium, the program will rely on dollars used by the state to award loans to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion or renovation, and equipment purchases.
Ohio is among the top ten states for maritime port freight, yet has not historically invested state revenue into port infrastructure, as do larger port states. The OMA supports the utilization of state funds to enhance Ohio’s maritime ports, and the association welcomes the funding provision in the new budget. 8/15/2019