Massillon Independent

November 5, 2003

Earmarked funds to pay for flood damage

PAUL M. KRAWZAK
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON - The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Timken Co. and the McKinley Museum in Canton will benefit from several million dollars in federal funds that Rep. Ralph Regula has directed toward Ohio.

Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, earmarked the funds, which are in a $19.7 billion bill that funds national parks, energy research and the Smithsonian.

The Cuyahoga Valley park, which lies between Akron and Cleveland, will get $2.5 million to pay for repairs following flooding on July 21. Some of the money also will be used for ongoing restoration of farmsteads and historic structures. The park has received millions of dollars in construction earmarks each year, including $2.5 million last year.

The damage occurred after heavy rainfall caused the Cuyahoga River to rise several feet above flood level, triggering an estimated $4 million in damage to a scenic railway, trails, bridges and culverts, the park's deputy superintendent Bill Carroll said.

The park is also eligible for $2.2 million in reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration. Those funds would cover repairs to washed out sections of the railroad and stabilization of the riverbanks. The award of that money depends on availability.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Columbus, helped get funding for the park included in the bill, congressional sources said.

The legislation also provides $2 million for Timken, a bearings maker based in Regula's district, to develop a system to improve energy conservation in manufacturing. Details of the project were not immediately available from Timken, which has received millions of dollars in research money from the government in recent years.

Regula earmarked $50,000 for repairs at the McKinley Museum, and $56,000 to develop an educational program at the Haines House Underground Railroad Project in Alliance.