Buckeye Hills-HVRDD has a New Name!
We are Now Buckeye Hills Regional Council.
Monthly News & Updates:
May 2017
Ron Moore, President of the Buckeye Hills Regional Council Board of Directors (Morgan County).
2017 April Meeting Provides Region Updates

The Board of Directors for Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District formally announced their new name and logo at the 2017 April Semi-Annual meeting. Now called Buckeye Hills Regional Council, the organization continues to provide services throughout the eight county region just as they always have, now with a new, more concise name.

"We are excited for people to know Buckeye Hills Regional Council as the multidimensional organization that it is," said Ron Moore, President of the Board of Directors. "We have a diverse population with evolving needs. We're proud to be able to identify those needs and respond to them. Changing our name won't change that."
Scott Hamilton, ARC Executive Director; Misty Casto, Buckeye Hills Executive Director; Jason Wilson, Director of the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia and Ron Moore, President, Buckeye Hills Board of Directors (Morgan County).

The Slate of Officers nominated by the Executive Committee at their regular March meeting was approved by the General Policy Council and includes: President: Ron Moore (center); Vice President: Lenny Eliason (left); and Treasurer, Joe Matthews (right).

The 2016 Buckeye Hills annual community benefit report was also reviewed and distributed as well as a variety of other program updates. The keynote speaker was Scott Hamilton, Executive Director of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Special guests also included Senator Frank Hoagland and Rep. Andy Thompson.

Misty Casto with Senator Frank Hoagland (R-30th) and Jason Wilson.
Misty Casto speaking with Representative Andy Thompson (R-95th - at left) and Jason Wilson of the Governor's Office of Appalachia (center).

Misty Casto (center) with Gold Sponsors of the April meeting: Flite Freimann, Bricker & Eckler Attorneys at Law and B.J. Smith of AT&T.
The Silver Sponsor was Miba Sinter and Bronze Sponsors included Dominion East Ohio and the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance. 

 Mid-Ohio Valley Statistical Port District
Buckeye Hills, in conjunction with other regional councils along the Ohio River in Ohio and West Virginia, is coordinating with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to create a statistical port for areas not currently represented by the Pittsburgh or Huntington Army Corp Districts.

A statistical port is a designation that allows information on maritime cargo movements to be developed and aggregated for an area that is not already captured in a U.S. Army Corp District. This data is extremely important in the efforts of economic development on both sides of the Ohio River. Data provided would include types of cargo shipped, tons of cargo, as well as monetary value of that cargo.
This designated area would extend from Columbiana County to Meigs County, Ohio, an area of approximately 216 miles of river frontage. Currently these areas are not represented in a district.

The Ohio counties impacted in the Buckeye Hills region are Athens, Meigs, Monroe, and Washington. Additional Ohio counties include Belmont, Jefferson, and Columbiana. The West Virginia counties are Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brook, and Hancock.

Approval of this proposed statistical port will only require an indication of interest and participation by impacted counties. This activity will not require construction or rehabilitation of any existing facilities. This action does not establish any additional administrative commissions, does not create or delegate any authority, and does not give jurisdiction to any ruling agency regarding future development activities. County development activities within the impacted area will be unimpeded by the designation.

During a maritime activity update meeting held at Buckeye Hills offices in February 2017, local government officials, together with private companies participating in the maritime shipping, logistics, and boating industries, requested the pursuit of this designation. 
To date, this effort has received favorable backing from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Port of Cincinnati was able to create a similar statistical port for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in 2014 and received designation in 2015.
Transportation Improvement Plan Finalized
The Buckeye Hills Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), is wrapping up the final approval of the Regional Transportation Improvement Plan (RTIP). The Buckeye Hills Executive Committee will finalize the resolution to approve the RTIP at the May 5 Board meeting. Once approved, the Regional Transportation Improvement Plan (RTIP) will be submitted to ODOT and FWHA to be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for Fiscal Year 2018-2021.

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.

Learn more at http://rtpo.buckeyehills.org/rtip/ 
Buckeye Hills Receives Auditor of State Award 

A recent financial audit of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District (now Buckeye Hills Regional Council) by the Auditor of State's office has returned a clean audit report. Buckeye Hills' excellent record keeping has earned it the Ohio
Auditor of State Award.
The award is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit. Entities that receive the award must meet a variety of criteria in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for a "clean" audit report.
"We were very pleased to learn of the Buckeye Hills Auditor of State Award," said Executive Board President Ron Moore of Morgan County. "It is a continuing reassurance to community leaders and to the residents across the eight-county region that public dollars are being used in a cost-effective and fiscally prudent manner."
Buckeye Hills administers state and federal Aging programs, serves as a regional transportation planning organization, provides small businesses with loans for expansion and supports communities with accessing funding for infrastructure, health care and more.
The Buckeye Hills fiscal department is directed by Denise Keyes. She has been with the organization since 1994. The department staff also includes Misty McConnell, Fiscal Manager; and Fiscal Assistants Esteal Hendricks and Stephanie Boice.

Buckeye Hills FY2016 Audit Report Available

The FY2016 audit report for Buckeye Hills is now available.

Area Residents Can Benefit from Housing Program 
Home Accessibility &
Repair Options Offered
There is no place like home. For individuals trying to "age in place" or those with disabilities working for independence, one Buckeye Hills Regional Council program is making a difference.
Administered through Buckeye Hills in its 8-county southeast Ohio region, the $403,600 Housing grant was recently awarded by the Development Services Agency.
"Grants are available for income eligible families or individuals with a disability of any age or seniors 60+ who own their home or have a life estate in the property," said Joe Gage, Buckeye Hills Housing Coordinator. "For residents who qualify, monies may be used to assist with the costs associated with accessibility modifications such as widening doorways, wheelchair ramps, handicap modifications of a bathroom or kitchen and other minor home repairs."

Shown with Joe Gage (right) is Travis Wolf of Wolf Construction.  
Gage is also an Aging-In-Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), developed to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require housing modifications to "age in place." These professionals are remodelers, general contractors, designers, architects and even health care consultants.
Gage is responsible for grant administration across the 8-county region. He can help eligible residents answer questions such as "how can I make my kitchen more functional; how do I modify my bathroom or home entrance and what type of contractor should I use?" The program will assess the home for eligible repairs and develop specifications for repair and bid the project to qualified contractors to complete the modifications.

Grants are available to fund accessibility modifications for income eligible families or individuals with a disability of any age or for minor home repairs for those income eligible over 60 years of age who own their home or have a life estate in the property.
In 2017: One person households served under this activity must be at or below the following income level:
  • Washington County- $19,650
  • and all other counties in the region are $19,400 (Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, & Perry).
Incomes are based on the number of family members in the home.
For more information, call 1-800-331-2644 or visit
www.buckeyehills.org .
Senior Farmers' Market Applications Now Available
Seniors who meet the income eligibility guidelines, will soon be receiving some welcome relief from rising food budgets. Administered by the Buckeye Hills Aging & Disability program, in the region, The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides income-eligible senior citizens with special coupons worth $50 to enjoy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey.

The Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a USDA and Ohio Department of Aging program for income-eligible seniors. Program coupons may be exchanged for eligible foods from authorized farmers. Only fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, vegetables and honey are eligible to be purchased with the coupons.

Each eligible senior receives $50 worth of coupons. Grant funding is limited and coupons are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each person will receive a total of ten $5 coupons. Coupons may only be redeemed by authorized participating farmers who sell produce at farmers' markets or roadside stands. The program will end Oct. 31.
Buckeye Hills will accept applications ONLY BY MAIL. Applications will be available across the region, at the Buckeye Hills office (1400 Pike St. in Marietta) and online at www.buckeyehills.org. Community partners who will also have copies of the applications include the region's Senior Centers and HAPCAP.

Income eligibility requirements include:
1. one person in household with income of $0 - $22,311;
2. 2 people in household with income of $0 - $30,044; and
3. 3 people in household with income of $0 - $37,777;
additional numbers are available on the application.  
Applications must be returned by U.S. mail only to Buckeye Hills 1400 Pike St. Marietta, OH 45750.
Applications will be processed for distribution on a first-come, first-served basis, by county. Coupons will be mailed to eligible applicants as soon as possible after the registrations are processed. Ineligible applicants will receive a letter indicating the reason of ineligibility. Once each county's allocations have been filled, individuals will be placed on a waiting list and receive notification by mail.
In 2016, the region-wide program served 1,525 seniors with another 562 seniors put on a waiting list due to program funding limits. Last year the program was served by more than 50 local farmer and market providers who redeemed $62,795 in coupons. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.     
Download Application
May Is Older Americans Month
Ohio's Theme: Age Out Loud! 
More than 2.5 million Ohioans are age 60 or older today, and this group is growing more than 20 times faster than the overall population.

This brings many challenges for our communities, but it also presents some exciting opportunities. More than ever, older Ohioans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others.

What it means to grow older in Ohio and America has changed, and Older Americans Month helps us celebrate those changes. The 2017 theme, Age Out Loud, gives a new voice to aging - one that reflects what today's older adults have to say about it. Now is the time for all of us to replace outdated views with perspectives that are based on facts and experiences instead of fear, and shine a light on many important issues and trends. Ohio has a tremendous opportunity for the future when we embrace our growing and changing population. It is time to Age Out Loud!
Source: Ohio Department of Aging 
Dates to Remember:
May is Older Americans Month
May 5
- Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive
Committee Meeting  
May 26 - Buckeye Hills Regional Advisory Council Meeting

Sponsored by:

Supported by:  

Buckeye Hills Regional Council
 740-374-9436 or 740-373-6400 | 1400 Pike St. - Marietta, OH  45750 | www.buckeyehills.org

Misty Casto: Executive Director

Buckeye Hills Regional Council 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.