A new round of applying for project funding through the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) has begun for fiscal year 2017 with a first-round caucus meeting held Wednesday at the Highland County Board of Commissioners office.
OVRDC Executive Director John Hemmings led the meeting and outlined the process and deadlines for county and municipal projects for Appalachian Regional Development (ARC) funds and Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds. Representatives from the county, Hillsboro, other county municipalities, and local organizations were present for the caucus.
Hemmings said projects for 2016 have been funded, but now is the time to begin applying for project funding for the next federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
He said that the Leesburg Industrial Park is the product of previous funding by the EDA, as is Greenfield’s nearly completed multi-million dollar railroad improvement project. Greenfield’s railroad also benefited from ARC funding, he said. Also, Highland County, Greenfield, and the region benefited with ARC Rapid Response funds that are part of an incentive deal that helped bring Corvac Composites to Greenfield, commissioner Shane Wilkin said.
Wilkin explained after the meeting that the ARC money is for equipment for Corvac that will become the company’s once employment goals are met.
An improvement project for Beech Street in Hillsboro that was initially slated for the current fiscal year will be bumped to next year, Hemmings said, due to matters of timing in regard to the city being able to get all the necessary pieces together in time for this year.
The second-round caucus will be held in May at the commissioners’ office. Then, projects that have been applied for will be ranked.
The OVRDC was established in 1967 and serves as a regional planning commission in 12 southern Ohio counties, including Highland. The agency “coordinates federal, state, and local resources to encourage community and economic development,” according to information provided by OVRDC. Other counties served are Adams, Brown, Clermont, Fayette, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
Hemmings and Wilkin encouraged all county and community representatives present to contact the OVRDC or commissioners about potential projects.
To contact the OVRDC call 740-947-2853 or go to ovrdc.org.
To contact the Highland County Board of Commissioners call 937-393-1911.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.