Warren group recommends $8.25M in state capital funding requests

Representatives from RINKA made a presentation last year to Middletown City Council about the possible redevelopment of the Towne Mall. The Warren County Chamber Alliance recommended the proposed sports and entertainment project receive a $1 million grant from the State Capital Improvement Project program being discussed by the Ohio General Assembly. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Representatives from RINKA made a presentation last year to Middletown City Council about the possible redevelopment of the Towne Mall. The Warren County Chamber Alliance recommended the proposed sports and entertainment project receive a $1 million grant from the State Capital Improvement Project program being discussed by the Ohio General Assembly. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Legislators reviewing funding for $2.09B in statewide capital projects

As state legislators continue to discuss what projects merit state funding in the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Capital Budget Appropriations, a group of Warren County chambers of commerce and the Warren County Port Authority have prioritized more than a dozen projects and recommended them to Warren County’s delegation at the Statehouse for a portion of the $2.09 billion pot.

The Warren County Chamber Alliance recommended 14 projects from around the county and is seeking $8.25 million from the new State Capital Improvement Project budget being discussed.

Two of the larger requests include $1 million each for a Middletown entertainment/sports venue and a competitive sports training complex at the Countryside YMCA. Others focused on group housing, bridge replacement and building renovations.

The Chamber Alliance is a collaboration of five Warren County chambers of commerce from Springboro, Lebanon, Franklin, Waynesville and Little Miami and the county Port Authority designed to support the county’s business community.

ExploreLawmakers review funding for statewide capital projects

The Chamber Alliance created a Task Force “to prioritize and speak to the county’s needs in the context of our current constituency and local-led plans for our future,” according to a letter signed by Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto, who chaired the 12-member Task Force.

That prioritization was based on the projects’ potential for economic growth and enhanced quality of life, according to the letter.

“It’s the biggest ask made from here,” Pozzuto said. “We’re confident in our prioritization process and in the proposed projects we’ve recommended.”

He said it has not been determined when the funding will be awarded. It was supposed to have been completed in February.

Matt Schnipke, executive director of the Warren County Office of Economic Development, said the delay was due to the General Assembly’s focus on redistricting.

ExploreWarren County Port Authority seeks state grant for Middletown sports project

Warren County continues to be Ohio’s third-fastest growing county and with that rapid growth comes opportunity and challenge, officials said. The Task Force included leaders from the business, philanthropic and healthcare sectors and elected officials in Warren County.

The Task Force evaluated the proposals’ consistency with long-range development priorities, community support, advancement of diversity and inclusion, ability to leverage other public and private funding commitments, and the opportunity for state resources to fill a gap to either complete or significantly advance a project, according to the letter.

The Task Force said it believed “the recommended projects greatly leverage private investment, will lead to the creation of jobs and economic prosperity for a broad segment of our population, and are deserving of state support.”

The recommended projects and amounts sought include:

  • City of Springboro, Clearcreek Park Trail, $365,000.
  • Warren County Community Services, Warren County Community Services Building Renovations, $100,000.
  • City of Lebanon, Lebanon Scenic Railway Bridge Replacement, $900,000
  • City of Middletown, Middletown Entertainment and Sports Venue, $1 million.
  • Camp Joy, Net Zero Environmental Classroom, $400,000.
  • Clearcreek Township, Pickleball Courts at Patricia Allyn Park, $115,000.
  • City of Mason, Adaptive Ballfields at Makino Park; $550,000.
  • Girl Scouts of Western Ohio; EMPOWER HER Camp Renovations, $700,000.
  • City of South Lebanon, Veteran’s Park Playground, $105,000.
  • Warren County Agricultural Society, Warren County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Facility, $820,000.
  • Countryside YMCA, YMCA Competitive Sports Training Complex, $1 million.
  • Pleasant Square Community Center, Pleasant Square Community Center, $600,000
  • Residential Group Homes, Community Center for Mental Health and Developmentally Disabled, $1.5 million.
  • City of Lebanon, City Central Business District Parking, $100,000.

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