Rep. West Applauds Inclusion Of Stark County Projects In Capital Budget Draft
State would invest millions in education, infrastructure, opioid treatment, other Stark County projects
February 27, 2018
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State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today applauded the inclusion of a number of Stark County projects in the initial draft of the state’s biannual Capital Budget, House Bill (HB) 529. West has pushed for several months for local projects focused on education, infrastructure, opioid treatment, parks and cultural facilities to be included in the bill.

“This initial budget draft makes serious investments to improve the quality of life in Northeast Ohio, including renewed investments in education, infrastructure and opioid addiction treatment and prevention,” said West. “I will continue to fight and advocate for these projects throughout the budget process so we ensure that our communities continue to be a great place to live, work, attend school, and raise a family.”

HB 529 calls for the Massillon Recovery Campus to receive $100,000 in facility upgrades to aid its mission of opioid addiction treatment and recovery programs.

The bill also calls for investments in education, including state funding for Kent State Stark, Stark State College and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Center of Excellence, which partners with the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), among other institutions. Funds would go toward job training programs and campus infrastructure and building projects, including $950,000 for storefront renovations through Stark State.

“Job training and community economic development have been two of my top priorities since serving on city council, so I am delighted to see local institutions may receive funds to take the lead on those issues right here in Stark County,” said West.

HB 529 also allocates more than $7.5 million for Stark County infrastructure projects as well as some $4.5 million for local conservation efforts. In addition, HB 529 contains funding for a number of community development projects, including:

  • Market Square enhancements in downtown Canton

  • Canton Central Plaza memorial statues

  • Upgrades to the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts

  • The renaissance of Duncan Plaza in Massillon

  • Improvements to the Massillon Museum

  • Glamorgan Castle renovations

  • McKinley Presidential Library and Museum enhancements

The bill also sets aside funding for local parks, including several in Stark County. The following parks projects were included for funding in HB 529’s initial draft:

  • Canal Fulton Community Park development

  • North Canton parks upgrades

  • Waynesburg Park advancements

  • Sandy Valley Park Trails development

  • Jackson Township North Park activity complex work

“Public parks, trails and cultural centers are vital to any community,” said West. “Projects like Market Square, Duncan Plaza and the Sandy Valley Park Trails move us closer to a more connected and vibrant community, one that families will be proud to call home.”

House Bill 529 has been referred to the House Finance Committee, where it begins its initial hearings.

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