News You Can Use from Buckeye Hills-HVRDD
Monthly News & Updates:
Jan. 2017

Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District

Partners Receive NADO Awards

Buckeye Hills was pleased to present partnering organizations with its 2016 Innovation Awards from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Ohio River Medical Mission and the Appalachian Ohio P-20 Council efforts.

Receiving the award from Buckeye Hills Exec. Director Misty Casto for The Ohio River Medical Mission was Meigs County
Commissioner Tim Ihle. Hosted in Pomeroy last June, the Mission was an innovative readiness training with the U.S. military. Years in the planning, the mission provided medical, dental, vision and veterinary services to the community at no charge. The 10-day event served a total of 2,952 patients and animals with an estimated total cost savings to the community of nearly $740,000. The patients came from 61 towns across 20 counties in four states.

In addition, the Appalachian Ohio P-20 Council, another program that Buckeye Hills was pleased to partner in creating, won a NADO Innovation Award. Receiving the award from Buckeye Hills Communications Director Gwynn Stewart, were Educational Service Center Superintendents (from left: Chris Keylor - Ohio Valley ESC and Dr. David Branch - Muskingum Valley ESC).

The Council serves nine counties in two Educational Service Centers working to inspire a regional commitment to student success through community collaboration and partnerships. From pre-school through career training or even post-graduate studies, the Appalachian Council hopes to make every student college or career ready. Learn more at

The Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation's regions and local communities.

The 2016 class of award recipients consists of 96 projects spanning 28 states. These projects are presented in an interactive "Story Map" developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners. The Story Map is available online at:

RTPO Updates:
The Buckeye Hills Regional Transportation Planning Organization will meet Tues., Jan. 10 at 10 a.m. at Buckeye Hills (1400 Pike St. in Marietta.)

ODOT funding opportunities and their deadlines for 2017 Applications for the programs listed below are open January 1.

Municipal Bridge - provides federal funds for bridge replacement or rehabilitation.  This program is for construction and construction administration only - design costs are not eligible.  The projects must meet the federal definition of a bridge with a span of at least 20 feet and must be listed on the National Bridge Inventory.   On-line applications are due by March 1 and selected projects will be announced in June 2017.  Bridges that are eligible for this program are in Athens County - Glouster and Trimble; Noble County - Sarahsville; and Perry County  - Corning, Crooksville, New Lexington, and Roseville.
Normally requires 20% match, but with the use of toll revenue credits, the match is lowered to 5%.
Small Cities - funds projects in cities with populations from 5,000 to 24,999 not inside a MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).  It provides federal funds for construction and construction administration and can be used for any roadway or safety project on the federal aid system. Online applications are due March 1.  Normally requires 20% match, but with the use of toll revenue credits, the match is lowered to 5%.
Transportation Alternatives Program -
provides funding for bike/ped facilities, conversion of abandoned railroad corridors, construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas, environmental mitigation, and preservation of historic transportation facilities and archaeological sites.  Applications are due February 1. 
Normally requires 20% match, but with the use of toll revenue credits, the match is lowered to 5%.

Please keep in mind, the 5% match due to the toll revenue credits may not be around much longer. Using these credits can save thousands of dollars for your project and community.
If you have projects you believe might be eligible, please contact Karen Pawloski, RTPO Coordinator or your ODOT District LPA Coordinator.  For District 5:  Randy Comisford, and for District 10:  Alan Craig,  As an RTPO, we strive to provide excellent service to meet your transportation needs. Buckeye Hills' staff are ready to assist with applying for these or any other funding opportunities. 
Dates to Remember:

Monday, Jan. 2 (for New Year's Day Holiday) - Office Closed
Friday, Jan. 6
- Executive Committee Meeting
Tues., Jan 10 - RTPO Meeting 

Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 Welcomes New Director   

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 welcomes Jennifer Westfall as its new Director.

She previously served as the Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Guernsey County, and was formerly a Human Service Program Consultant for the Ohio Department of Mental Health. 

She holds a Bachelor's in Health Science in Community Health and is currently working on her Master's in Public Health. She resides in Summerfield, Ohio, with her husband and son. 

Updated AAA8 Program Quick Reference Guides for 2017 Available

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 supports independence, choice and dignity -- and strives to bring choice to home and community-based care. A 2017 program overview with eligibility guidelines is now available.

Great for discharge planners, social workers and home health agencies, the resource provides a quick guide to identify programs and services that enable older adults and those with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities. Order printed copies by calling, 1-800-331-2644 ext. 2340.

 Click Here to download the guide.
Nominate an Outstanding Older Ohioan for the Ohio   Se
nior Citizens
Hall of Fame 
The Ohio Department of Aging is seeking the public's help to identify outstanding older neighbors who have made, and continue to make, a lasting difference in their professions, their vocations and their communities, and who serve as role models for other generations to continue to grow, thrive and contribute. Individuals and organizations interested in nominating someone for the 2017 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame may visit  for more information and to access the nomination form.
"Inductees to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame very often are ordinary people who do extraordinary things in their communities or careers," said Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the department. "Their accomplishments represent a lifetime of hard work, dedication, ingenuity, kindness and compassion. They not only deserve to be recognized for their contributions, but they also should be lifted up as examples for the rest of us to strive to emulate."
Past inductees have included business and industry leaders, advocates, community planners, educators, scientists, health care professionals, volunteers, artists, athletes and more. Nominees are evaluated on the scope and impact of their contributions begun or continued after age 60. In addition to being age 60 and older, nominees must be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations are accepted.
Induction is held each May as the state and nation celebrate Older Americans Month. Those selected for the Hall of Fame will join more than 450 older Ohioans inducted into the hall since its inception in 1978. While nominations are accepted year-round, nominations must be received by January 31, 2017, to be considered for induction in 2017.
Learn more, access the nomination form and view past inductees at 
Get Help with Heating Bills

As the nights grow colder, home heating assistance is available for elders with low or modest incomes.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Community Assistance. It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.
If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit will depend on:
1) federal funding levels,
2) how many people live with you,
3) total household income ($20,790 max income for single households, or $28,035 for couples), 
4) and the primary fuel you use to heat your home.
In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor). The one-time benefit is typically credited in January depending on when an individual applies for assistance.
How to apply 
Applications are available online  and through a number of community organizations, including Community Action Agencies and the Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8). Applications may be submitted anytime from now through June 30, 2017.
"Contact our office for more details on this and other programs that may assist seniors or those with disabilities," said Rick Hindman, Buckeye Hills Asst. Executive Director & Acting AAA8 Director. "Our staff is available to help seniors understand eligibility requirements and complete benefit applications - especially for those who are homebound."
Older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for the program should call one of the Community Action Agency partners below, depending on the county where they live:
  • Athens, Hocking & Perry: HAPCAP at 1-800-686-1093
  • Meigs: Gallia-Meigs CAP at 1-800-282-0880
  • Monroe & Noble: GMN at 740-472-0828 or 740-732-2388
  • Washington and Morgan: Washington-Morgan CAP at 740-373-3745
For more information about HEAP, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at 1-800-282-0880 or 1-800-686-1557 (TDD line for hearing impaired clients).  
Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District
 740-374-9436 | 1400 PIke St. - Marietta, OH  45750 |

Misty Casto: Executive Director

Buckeye Hills is organized as a voluntary organization of local government political subdivisions to foster cooperative efforts in regional planning, and implementing of regional plans and programs.