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$750M available for economic development sites

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(The Center Square) – Ohio plans to give $750 million in taxpayer funds to communities around the state to grow the number of project-ready economic development sites.

The money, included in the state budget signed in July, can be used for one-time local infrastructure costs necessary to prepare sites for future projects.

“Increasing our inventory of project-ready sites is imperative for continued economic growth,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “With the help of this program, we will usher in a new era of economic development for Ohio, fueling opportunity for generations to come.”

The Ohio Department of Development recently released guidelines, requirements and eligibility.

Counties, cities, villages, townships, port authorities, community improvement corporations, conservancy and park districts or other similar park authorities, land reutilization corporations, nonprofit organizations, transportation improvement districts and for-profit developing project-ready sites the state believes will improve the economic welfare of the state are eligible.

“Through the All Ohio Future Fund, communities can set themselves up to be the next great economic success story in Ohio,” Ohio Development Director Lydia Mihalik said. “By fostering a landscape of opportunity across our state, we not only attract investments but lay the foundation for sustainable development, ensuring a prosperous future for Ohio communities and businesses alike.”

Eligible costs include public roadwork, water and wastewater infrastructure, design and engineering, demolition, wetland mitigation, utility gap funding and one-time site enhancements. Funding will primarily come in the form of interest-free loans that may be partially forgivable.

Those who receive grants are expected to find site occupants within five years.

“The All Ohio Future Fund is part of the bold vision from the collaboration of the DeWine Husted Administration and state legislature, which will continue the economic momentum our state’s achieved since 2019,” JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said. “The critical need for strategic sites throughout Ohio is key to success for both companies and communities building for today and investing for a prosperous tomorrow.”

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