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Buckeye Hills Selected for ODOT Regional Transportation Planning Pilot

Friday, June 14, 2013

Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District (BHHVRDD) was recently selected by The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to participate in the Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) Pilot program.

A total of five organizations across Ohio were selected for the pilot program. Each pilot organization is paired with a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) mentor in Ohio.

Over the past few decades, ODOT has been informally consulting with rural elected officials in the development of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  However, the goal of the pilot is to formalize and strengthen the rural consultation and transportation planning processes, more closely linking them to potential economic and community development planning efforts.

In the Pilot program, ODOT recognizes Ohio’s five rural multi-county planning agencies as RTPOs. During the two-year program, ODOT and other Ohio MPOs will assist the rural regions in developing comprehensive regional transportation plans while building overall transportation planning expertise.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) as the Buckeye Hills mentor organization,” said Executive Director Misty Casto. “We feel MORPC’s expertise and experience will be extremely valuable to our region’s planning process.”

Local participation is critical in making responsible transportation decisions with limited state and federal budgets. Buckeye Hills is a designated Ohio local development district serving eight counties including Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington. 

“Buckeye Hills is excited to be chosen as the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for Southeastern Ohio during the pilot program commencing this summer,” said Development Director Bret Allphin. “With the addition of transportation planning to our portfolio of existing development services, we feel that Buckeye Hills is in a prime position to affect positive change on transportation in the region, helping us fulfill our mission of improving local communities and the lives of our constituents.”

In 2012, total costs for development projects completed in the Buckeye Hills region were approximately $24.6 million ($24,618,804), with local communities and private businesses leveraging nearly $8 million ($7,969,072) in private funds against the just over $16 million ($16,131,732) provided through state and federal funding sources.

 

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