The state’s capital budget bill—House Bill 497—was recently reviewed by the state legislature in order to determine appropriate capital projects to be funded by bonded dollars over the course of the next few years. The capital budget is a collaborative process that involves state and local leaders and the economic development community which balances the state’s need for fiscal restraint.
The funding for these projects is provided by bond money that is established in a fund for the purpose of public improvements in Ohio. In western Ohio we were fortunate enough to have funding for many projects approved because of the bill’s passage. For the four counties that I represent, funding totaled more than $13 million.
The Progressive Agricultural Convention and Educational Center (PACE) will be built on the Mercer County Fairgrounds. It will be a major advancement, providing state-of-the-art labs and learning space for the Wright State Lake Campus agricultural program and will open up the fairgrounds for other events that may bring additional tourism to the region.
I am also pleased that the 4-H kids in Shelby County are one step closer to having a new bathroom for their use while they are working hard with their 4-H and FFA projects during the Shelby County Fair. This is a project spearheaded by local groups and the state has been able to help them with funding for the completion of the project.
Funding for the construction of a Native American Bowery has also been approved. Not unlike the Native American Peace Council House, which was built nearly 10 years ago, it will be built in the Greenville Park in order to educate local residents and their children about Native Americans in the area and their involvement in the settlement of western Ohio. It will commemorate the 2nd Treaty of Greenville and the War of 1812 Bicentennial.
Parks are very important to the people in my district. They represent a place to come together and they provide a connection between the residential community and small business, which spurs economic growth. Because of HB 497 many community projects will advance forward with state support such as restoration projects at the Historic Sidney Theatre and Memorial Hall in Greenville.
In addition, two advanced manufacturing training facilities received money for construction in the 84th District. These facilities will provide a place for local workers to advance their skills, giving local companies an improved workforce to hire from and enabling companies to enroll existing workers in retraining programs to provide promotion and advancement within their companies.
None of these projects would have been possible without the hard work of my colleagues Senators Keith Faber and Cliff Hite and local State Representatives Richard Adams, Tony Burkley, and John Adams. All of these projects help Ohioans by promoting the arts and improving the infrastructure of the community, as just a few examples.
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