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Ohio House Passes Strategic Community Investment Fund

February 7, 2024
Jason Stephens News

The Ohio House of Representatives approved the historic Strategic Community Investment Fund, as part of Substitute House Bill 2 on Wednesday.

This one-time funding will be administered to statewide, regional, and local projects, nearly $16.2 million of which will directly serve the 93rd House District and the surrounding communities. 

“There is a bright future ahead for Ohio.  This has been a remarkable opportunity to invest resources in areas we otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” said Stephens.  “These are meaningful investments that will impact our communities around our region, for decades to come.”

Speaker Stephens championed the several provisions that will positively impact Gallia, Jackson and Lawrence Counties were included:

$5,000,000 to build a new welcome center for the Wayne National Forest, greeting visitors as they enter from Lawrence County;
$2,500,000 to build a new facility for the Gallia County Council on Aging;
$2,500,000 for renovations to Memorial Hall in the city of Jackson, preserving the historic building to benefit the community;
$2,250,000 for repairing the dam at the Rio Grande Village Reservoir; 
$1,250,000 to refresh the Coal Grove Village Riverfront Park, promoting community recreation and well-being;
$1,000,000 to revitalize the Jackson Park and Trail creating new recreational opportunities around Hammertown Lake and downtown parks;
$750,000 for improving the Lawrence County school communication systems;           
$392,038 to renovate Balmer Park in Wellston; fostering opportunities for outdoor recreation;
$300,000 for renovations the Jackson County Courthouse building and grounds;
$200,000 for renovations to the emergency resource center and food pantry of Wellston, broadening access to community resources.
In addition to these local investments, this legislation also includes additional statewide capital investments of:

$600 million for the School Building Program Assistance Fund;
$400 million for the Public Works Commission Local Public Infrastructure and State Capital Improvement Program; 
$397.6 million for higher education projects around the state; and
$250 million for local jail construction across Ohio. 

The Strategic Community Investment Fund was established in the state’s main operating budget passed last year and includes excess funding from the previous fiscal year. Due to conservative fiscal stewardship, the Ohio House was able to dedicate this excess toward projects that will move Ohio forward.

This funding will be incorporated as part of the greater State Capital Budget bill, a two-year construction budget for capital projects.