BGSU Center for Regional Development helps secure sizable grant

burns william

Nearly $1 million grant for Delta, Ohio, water infrastructure

By Alex Sciranka

Bowling Green State University and its commitment to sustainability and responsible water systems have helped the village of Delta, Ohio, secure a $958,885 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Through the assistance of Will Burns, assistant director of the Center for Regional Development (CRD), in writing the application and helping to create an economic impact study, Delta can now fund critical water infrastructure improvements.

Using the expertise and resources within the CRD, Burns drew upon the EDA Public Works program, which helps distressed communities revitalize, expand and upgrade their physical infrastructure. Burns and the center staff analyzed the projected investment numbers to calculate the overall impact of the project in terms of employment and economic output. Through this research, Burns proved that Delta qualified for funding through the EDA and ensured that the water infrastructure project would be included in the five-county comprehensive economic development strategy document required by EDA.

The new water system will include a raw water pump station that will be owned, operated and maintained by Delta. The goal of the improved water system is to utilize the raw water supply for irrigation supporting the expansion of the Nature Fresh Farms greenhouse, as well as for dust control at MetalX, a new metal recycling facility in the village. The water project is expected to create 165 jobs and generate $81.2 million in private investment for Delta.

“The Delta water project fits directly into the mission of CRD,” Burns said. “The center strives to provide innovative and pragmatic solutions to challenges related to industry, community and the economy. Assisting a community to build critical infrastructure to support companies expanding and creating jobs is a great benefit to the region.”

Moving forward, Delta will take sole control of implementing the necessary changes required by the grant, but the CRD will be available to continually assist the village in following the EDA’s economic-impact reporting requirements.

The improvements soon to come for the Delta are yet another example of BGSU's dedication to civic and economic engagement within the region, Burns said.