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

Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District

Buckeye Hills Hosts State
Legislative Briefings

As the 132nd General Assembly has convened, Buckeye Hills recently hosted a variety of state legislator briefings in its new conference center. State Representative Jay Edwards joined a meeting of the Executive Committee in February. Edwards represents the 94th District (including Athens, Meigs and portions of Washington Co. in the Buckeye Hills region) and has interest in strengthening the Ohio Appalachian Caucus.

Misty Casto, Buckeye Hills Exec. Director; State Representative Jay Edwards (94th District) and Buckeye Hills Pres. Ron Moore.

Buckeye Hills also welcomed the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) for its regional legislative update on state budget issues. Joining members from Buckeye Hills and from across southeastern Ohio, were Representative Jack Cera (96th District representing Monroe County) and Representative Andy Thompson (95th District representing Noble, and portions of Washington County).

From left: Noble County Commissioner Ty Moore;  Representative Andy Thompson (95th District) and Noble County Commissioner Virgil Thompson. 

Representative Jack Cera (left) with Harrison County  Commissioner Dale Norris. 
Buckeye Hills Welcomes New Executive Board Members

Buckeye Hills is pleased to welcome new members to its Executive Committee. Joining the board are Ben Carpenter, Perry County Commissioner, Adam Shriver, Morgan County Commissioner; Gary Waugh, Hocking County Commissioner and Ty Moore, Noble County Commissioner (as an alternate to Virgil Thompson.)

Shown above, Misty Casto, Executive Director provided a Buckeye Hills overview with new members in February (seated from left: Shriver, Waugh, Bret Allphin - Development Director and Moore; Carpenter was not able to be present.) 

Buckeye Hills Announces Grants Application Process  
Project Profiles Being Accepted for Funding Consideration: Due March 28   

Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District is committed to assisting the counties across the region with securing grant funding  for projects.

For consideration of funding from The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and The Economic Development Administration (EDA), applicants should complete a Project Profile. 

The simple, self-explanatory project profile form collects basic information about projects, including contact information, project description, type and readiness, regional impact, project partners, funding sources and total project costs.

Qualifying state and local agencies and governmental entities,
local governing boards (such as county commissioners), and nonprofit organizations (such as schools and organizations that build low-cost housing) may apply for the competitive grants programs. Representatives from these organizations may draw  
from the expertise and assistance available from Buckeye Hills
to navigate the grants process.

Applicants complete the form and submit it to Buckeye Hills. Based on the project information provided, staff will determine the proper potential funding source (ARC, CDBG, EDA, etc.). Matching funds are required to secure public investments in eligible projects.

Projects must serve residents in one or more of the region's eight counties: Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington. While each funding source has specific goals, they generally address the following issues: creation or retention of private sector jobs (ARC, EDA); extension or upgrade water or sewer services (ARC, CDBG); provision of quality health care (ARC); provision of job skills training; and/or development or improvement of infrastructure for residents (ARC).

Total costs for 52 projects completed over the past year were approximately $34 million, with local communities and private business leveraging $13.6 million (40%) against the $20.2 million (60%) provided through state and federal funding sources.
project profile is available on the BH-HVRDD web site at The project form can be completed electronically.  
All Project profiles are due to BH-HVRDD no later than 4 p.m. March 28, 2017.

For answers on questions regarding the project profile process call Melissa Zoller at (740) 376-1027.
Buckeye Hills Administers
Brownfield Projects

Buckeye Hills is pleased to be part of the administration team for Perry County and its $400,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct Phase I and II Environmental Assessments (ESAs), cleanup planning, and community outreach on eligible brownfield sites within the county.

"Investments in brownfield properties in the Appalachian region of Ohio are crucial to the economic success of the area," said Bret Allphin, Development Director with Buckeye Hills. "We are excited to work with our partners in Perry County to ensure these properties receive the attention they need in order to be productive for the citizens of the community."    

With the funds, the county has invested in the environmental assessments and remediation of multiple properties in New Lexington, Crooksville and Somerset. This work is critical to the expansion of existing businesses and the redevelopment of once idle properties.
Shown below are photos of the most recent effort coordinated under contract with T&M Associates, an environmental consultant for the project, of the removal of a 10,000-gallon gasoline tank, a 4,000-gallon diesel tank, a 1,000-gallon kerosene tank and a 550-gallon waste oil tank at the Lunch and Muncheon site in Crooksville.

(Photos submitted and used by permission of T&M Associates.)


Regional Transportation Improvement Plan Meetings to be Hosted in March  
The Buckeye Hills Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), will hold open houses to allow public comment on the region's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Districts 5 and 10 will also be on hand to discuss the region's 2018-2021 Plan for ODOT programmed projects. Meeting dates will include:
  • CALDWELL: Tuesday, March 7, 4-6 p.m. at the Noble County Community Center, Noble County Fairgrounds, County Rd 56, Caldwell, Ohio  43724 (Representing Monroe, Morgan, Noble, and Washington Counties)
  • LOGAN: Tuesday, March 14, 4-6 p.m. at the Scenic Hills Senior Center, 187 Spring Street, Logan, Ohio  43138 (Representing Hocking and Perry Counties)
  • ATHENS: Thursday, March 16, 4-6 p.m. at the Athens City Recreation Center, 701 E. State Street, Athens, Ohio  45701 (Representing Athens and Meigs Counties)
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a schedule of transportation improvements in the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional transportation planning area (Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry & Washington Counties in southeastern Ohio). The TIP includes improvements to highways, public transit, bikeways, pedestrian facilities, bridges, traffic signals and other aspects of transportation systems.
The public can provide input at the public meetings or to Karen Pawloski, Buckeye Hills Transportation Planning Coordinator up to 45 days from the date of the meeting.  The comment period will remain open through Friday, April 7, 2017.
If you have any questions regarding these meetings, please contact Karen Pawloski at 740-376-7658.
Donald R. Myers Legacy Fund Grant Application Available

Application Deadline is March 21, 2017

The Donald R. Myers Legacy Fund was created to support projects and activities of organizations in the 32 Appalachian counties in Ohio that improve quality of life with emphasis on concerns Mr. Myers worked so passionately to address: education, regional networking opportunities, support for community leaders, and fulfillment of basic needs.

Dates to Remember:
March 3 - Executive Committee Meeting 
March 7, 14 & 16: Transportation Plan Meetings
March 28: Deadline for Buckeye Hills Project Profiles

Save the Date ~ April 7:
Buckeye Hills Semi-Annual Meeting in Marietta

The Keynote Speaker will be Scott Hamilton, Executive Director for the Appalachian Regional Commission. 
Diane agrees that there's no place like home. Through support from Ohio's Home Choice and PASSPORT programs and AAA8, she was able to move home after a long stay in a nursing facility. Shown with Diane is Marsha Melrose, her Interim Home Care aide and Kim Flanigan, her Home Choice Transitions Coordinator from AAA8.
Individuals Transition with Ohio's Home Choice & PASSPORT Programs

On Camelot Drive in southeast Ohio, Diane Murray is happy to be back at her home after spending months in a nursing home. Administered locally through The Home Choice and PASSPORT programs provided Diane with the resources and support to return home.
"Home Choice allowed me to come home and live my life again," said Diane. "Being home is way better than a nursing facility - you can't beat it! I can eat my own food and set my own hours. If it wasn't for this program, I would still be in the nursing home."
As a retiree from Washington State Community College where she spent 25 years as the Executive Assistant to the President, Diane added that if it wasn't for the staff at the Area Agency on Aging 8, she wouldn't have known how to do it on her own. Now back at her home, she enjoys her privacy and the freedom to come and go on her own.
The PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver Program provides in-home services and supports for persons with a nursing home level of care. The AAA8 care managers work with the family, physician and home health workers to customize a care plan that includes home delivered meals, personal care, chore service, emergency response systems, home medical equipment, transportation, and other such services.
"She is doing great at home," said Kim Flanigan, the Transition coordinator and Long-term Care Ombudsman for AAA8. "Diane has great family and neighbor support and she gets along very well with support from the PASSPORT program." PASSPORT services include home and personal care services and transportation through her senior center. Kim was also able to get Diane set up at home through Home Choice and Recovery Requires a Community for some of Diane's necessary durable medical equipment.
"I was pleased to help Diane make the necessary arrangements for her return home that included arranging her enrollment into PASSPORT for supportive services, as well as getting other equipment," said Flanigan.
The average yearly PASSPORT plan cost in the Buckeye Hills region was $13,794.53 (an average monthly plan cost of $1,262.) According to the Administration on Aging, average nursing home costs in our region are $40,841-$43,472 annually. Thanks to the Ohio aging networks' success administering the PASSPORT program, older and disabled adults avoid or delay admission to more expensive and restrictive nursing homes. To learn more about PASSPORT or Home Choice, call AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644 or visit  

Facts About PASSPORT:
  • For 30 years, Ohio's Area Agencies on Aging have administered one of the largest, and the most cost-effective, home and community based Medicaid programs in the nation, called PASSPORT, with consistent customer approval ratings that have reached as high as 99%.
  • From 1995-2011, as a result of PASSPORT, the use of Medicaid-funded nursing homes by Ohioans age 60 and older dropped by 14.5% despite a 15% increase in the aging population.
  • The cost of care in a nursing home is three times the cost of PASSPORT home-based services.
Download a PASSPORT brochure  
Medicare 2017
"Extra Help"  
Some Medicare recipients may be eligible for "Extra Help" with Medicare premiums, co-pays and RX costs.
"Extra Help is a Medicare program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug (Part D) costs as well as premiums and co-pays.
The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 can help those on Medicare determine if they are eligible for "Extra Help." Contact AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644 for more information or to register over the phone. No travel, no waiting, just one phone call!

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.