IMPORTANT COVID-19 Changes & Guidance

 

Teleworking & Business Continuity

All Commission staff are teleworking effective Monday, March 16th, 2020. The Commission is committed to the extent possible, to maintaining its Customer Services Standards on program delivery and disbursement processing. Since staff do not have regular access to mailed material, please send email to the apppropriate staff member (list of staff emails is located HERE). We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 

Project Status

Please see our home page for updates on project funding and below for the status of your project. The first FAQ (at the bottom of this webpage) will assist in identification of an infrastructure project's funding assistance, as to SCIP or LTIP, and funding round.

Infrastructure

Round 34 – Due to the uncertainty of the capital bill, Round 34 infrastructure SCIP and RLP project agreements will not be released on July 1, 2020. The OPWC plans to release Local Transportation Improvement Program funded project agreements on or after July 1, 2020 since LTIP was funded in the FY20-21 Transportation Budget. Some top-ranked SCIP projects may be released depending on the availability of carry-over funds and the status of a reappropriations bill. SCIP applicants need to plan accordingly. A local government may proceed on their projects at their own risk. There is no guarantee of funding availability until we have a signed Capital Bill. If a Capital Bill or similar funding legislation is ultimately signed, we will reimburse local governments for construction costs incurred after July 1st, 2020. Existing rules for engineering and right-of-way costs still apply. This is no different than historical practices. We will extend project schedules and accommodate you to the best of our ability.

Round 33 and older – The timing of a reappropriations bill is uncertain such that funds may not be immediately available at the start of the biennium which may affect our ability to disburse funds for SCIP- and RLP-funded projects after July 1, 2020. As every year, we close our books about mid-June for the state year-end close-out process. We will guarantee processing disbursements for this fiscal year for all  properly completed disbursements received by the end of business on June 12, 2020 but will continue to process as long a possible. In fact, we encourage you to submit disbursement requests to your program representative via email as soon as possible. After July 1st, once a reappropriations bill is in effect, we will immediately resume disbursement of funds.

Clean Ohio

Round 14 – These project agreements are in process of being released but for funds not expended by mid-June, please see below.

Round 13/14 and older – The timing of a reappropriations bill is uncertain such that funds may not be immediately available at the start of the biennium which may affect our ability to disburse funds for SCIP- and RLP-funded projects after July 1, 2020. As every year, we close our books about mid-June for the state year-end close-out process. We will guarantee processing disbursements for this fiscal year for all  properly completed disbursements received by the end of business on June 12, 2020 but will continue to process as long a possible. In fact, we encourage you to submit disbursement requests to your program representative via email as soon as possible. After July 1st, once a reappropriations bill is in effect, we will immediately resume disbursement of funds.

Small Government

The May Small Government voting meeting was cancelled since there is currently no funding. Project applications are being scored but we will not be sending out draft score notifications at this time. If a Capital Bill or similar funding legislation is ultimately signed, we will release draft scores to the individual applicants and reschedule the voting meeting.

 

Fiscal-Year End Guarantee Date

As there is every year, in mid-June, we must wrap up disbursement processing for the fiscal year-end shut down. We will guarantee processing this fiscal year for those disbursements that are properly completed and delivered electronically to your program representative by June 12, 2020. We will then continue to process as long as we are able, and will resume after July 1st as soon as a  reappropriations bill is in place.

 

Disbursement Requests

Please submit all disbursement requests electronically to your respective Program Representative via email. Program staff will be monitoring emails and will process your disbursement request as usual. List of staff emails is located HERE.

 

July 2020 Loan Payment Deferment

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Public Works Commission is deferring all July 2020 Loan Repayments with no payment due until the January 2021 billing cycle. Loan amortization schedules will be reissued and made available on our website in the forthcoming future to show no payment due for July 2020, with a six-month deferment for the life of the loan. Loan recipients have the option to make a double payment (for July 2020 and January 2021) in November once the January 2021 invoices are issued. They can be applied as an additional payment or you can make a single payment in keeping with the revised amortization schedule. There are no late fees or additional accrued interest as part of this deferral.

Find original email HERE and Loan Deferment Letter HERE

 

Virtual Meeting Guidance

These resources are made available by Ohio Information & Technology. These are living documents and will be updated as necessary to address security and other business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I know if my Round 34 project is a SCIP or LTIP project?

A. Please see the list of projects on our website HERE.

SCIP/RLP project ID's look like this: CA01X/CA02X or (alpha/alpha/numeric/numeric/alpha)

LTIP project ID's look like this: DAX01 (alpha/alpha/alpha/numeric/numeric)

Round 34 is denoted by the "X". Round 33 is denoted by a "W", Round 32 by a "V", and so forth. 

Q. Is LTIP subject to reappropriation?

A. Funding for LTIP is already provided in the FY 20-21 Transportation Bill.  There will be no disruption for already funded LTIP projects. 

Q. If I have started a project and am in the middle of construction, when can my contractor be paid if invoicing is after July 1st?

A. There may be temporary delays in processing disbursements after July 1st for existing SCIP projects. Currently, we do not have a precise time frame to provide. We will continually update our website as we get additional information regarding the timing of funding after July 1st.  We expect all contractors to ultimately get paid. The local government may pay the contractor directly and then seek reimbursement from the OPWC if that is a better option.

Q. If I have a disbursement now, can I over disburse and use local share to pay the next request and even up at the end?

A. Most likely but please contact your OPWC Program Representative to confirm how much has been disbursed to date.

Q; If my Round 34 project is tied to another agency's funding, how is my project impacted?

A. We do not know when and if we will ultimately get funding for PY 34 SCIP and RLP projects. Local governments that have funding arrangements with other state and federal funding partners will need to adjust their funding package including the possible termination of a project, delay of a project until funding is more certain, or arrange funding from other sources including local fiscal resources.

Q. If ODOT is doing the roadway and we are doing sewer in Round 34, does that mean our sewer project is on hold and we will have to tear up the roadway?

A. Your sewer project will be on hold until we have more direction regarding Capital legislation. Please visit our website for any updates.

Q. Can carry over Round 33 money be used to fund our project if timing is an issue?

A. Yes, but please consult your OPWC Program Representative as projects must be funded according to the rank assigned by the respective District Integrating Committee.

Q. Is it possible that there will be no Round 34 funding this year?

A. Yes. Please continue to  monitor our website for updates.

Q. Will there be money for Clean Ohio, or should we assume that there will not be for two years?

A. We do not know what the funding levels will be for the Clean Ohio program until a Capital Bill or similar legislation is introduced and signed by the Governor.

Q. Can we start planning Clean Ohio Round 15 even if there is no funding yet, particularly if we have remaining funds from Round 14?

A. Nothing prevents an applicant from planning but there is no funding currently. As stated on our website, “guidance and allocations for all programs for next fiscal year are on hold; therefore, district integrating committees and natural resource assistance councils were told to postpone application solicitation schedules for next fiscal year until further notice.” Any Round B cycles for Round 14 balances will be announced on the individual District webpages on our site.

Q. Is the money just delayed or is it not coming?

A. We have two buckets of “money” that the OPWC manages.  “Old money” is money already provided in prior Capital Bills for current projects.  “Old money” needs to reappropriated every two years to continue funding for those projects. This pertains to projects funded by SCIP, RLP, and Clean Ohio. We expect funding to ultimately occur with the caveat that it might be delayed after July 1st.  “New money” is provided in each two-year Capital Bill.  We cannot answer questions regarding the timing of this legislation until a bill has been introduced. It is always possible that a Capital Bill will be introduced later this calendar year, next calendar year, or not introduced at all.

Q. When will our SCIP projects for Round 34 be funded?

A. Funding for PY 34 requires passage of a FY 21-22 Capital Bill or similar legislation. At this time, we have no information to provide as to when this might occur. Please continue to monitor our website for updates.  

Q. What happens to my Disbursement Request after July 1st?

A. Funding for previously approved projects, except for LTIP, require the passage of a Reappropriations Bill. The Administration and General Assembly are aware of this and we expect to have a Bill ultimately passed and signed by the Governor. The timing of this legislation; however, is in question which may cause some delays in processing disbursements after July 1st.  Please continue to monitor our website for updates.

Q. Does this mean OPWC is not honoring its agreements with existing projects?

A. The OPWC intends to fully honor all existing Project Agreements that are currently in force. However, the OPWC, like all state agencies who manage capital programs, need capital reappropriations in order to support existing contractual obligations.     

Q. Regarding the loan deferment, I can still make my July payment but just later?

A. Yes, in effect. We are not invoicing for July but communities are always free to make an extra payment in a following billing period. 

Q. For a Round 34 project, can I start construction after July 1st before signing the agreement and get reimbursed for those costs?

A. The effective date of PY 34 Agreements will still be July 1st since any capital bill ultimately passed and signed covers the FY 21-22 “Capital Biennium” which begins on July 1st. As noted on our COVID-19 page, “A local government may proceed on their projects at their own risk. There is no guarantee of funding availability until we have a signed Capital Bill. If a Capital Bill or similar funding legislation is ultimately signed, we will reimburse local governments for construction costs incurred after July 1, 2020. Existing rules for engineering and right-of-way costs still apply. This is no different than historical practices.”

Can I still proceed with my Round 33 (or prior) project this year? Do I have to have it done by June?

A: Round 33 and prior projects can proceed as planned but payments for SCIP and RLP projects may be delayed after July 1, 2020. LTIP projects are not affected. You do not have to have your project completed by June and we will still honor project agreements for Round 33 and prior. If your project is SCIP or RLP funded, then you should be prepared to potentially have a period where funds cannot be disbursed to your vendor. OPWC will be flexible with deadlines as we move forward.