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Edwards, Ohio House Pass Strategic Community Investment Fund

February 7, 2024
Jay Edwards News

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COLUMBUS— The Ohio House of Representatives today approved allocations from the Strategic Community Investment Fund, as part of Substitute House Bill 2, announced Chairman of the House Finance Committee, State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville). 

The Strategic Community Investment Fund includes $350 million for statewide, regional, and local projects, more than $11.8 million of which will be directed toward the 94th House district and the surrounding communities. The fund was established under the state’s main operating budget passed in 2023 and includes excess funding from the previous fiscal year.

“There is no doubt these investments will strengthen our communities,” said Edwards. “As Chairman of the House Finance Committee, it has been an honor to strategically fund projects that foster growth and make Ohio, specifically southeast Ohio, the best place to work, live, and raise a family.”

Due to ongoing conservative fiscal stewardship, Edwards was able to secure the following one-time funding for projects in Athens, Meigs, Morgan, and Washington Counties:

  • $2.5 million to build the Athens Regional Training Center, supporting public safety agencies in the region;
  • $2.5 million to upgrade the Ohio University Airport, promoting the aviation industry in southeast Ohio;
  • $1.5 million to transform the Village of Racine Entertainment District and Streetscape, fostering opportunities for community engagement through the entertainment industry;
  • $1.5 million to construct an additional facility at the Pennsville Volunteer Fire Department Inc., equipping first responders to best serve their communities;
  • $1 million to create the Meigs County Transportation Hub, delivering widespread transportation services and infrastructure;
  • $500,000 to support the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks Food Sector Accelerator Project, creating jobs throughout the Appalachian region;
  • $500,000 to repurpose the historic Stanberry Building into a healthcare clinic, expanding access to care and promoting community health;
  • $350,000 to build a new Decatur Township building, establishing a community meeting and event space;
  • $250,000 to renovate the Nelsonville-York Elementary School playground, ensuring the safety of students and fostering opportunities for fun;
  • $250,000 to revitalize the 1872 Hall Complex, preserving Meigs County history;
  • $250,000 to modernize the Meigs County Fairgrounds, preserving infrastructure for the enjoyment of generations to come;
  • $250,000 to design and construct the Morgan County Emergency Communications Center, linking the public to emergency services, ultimately increasing public safety and accessibility to first responders;
  • $250,000 to modernize the Morgan County Fairgrounds, preserving infrastructure for the enjoyment of generations to come;
  • $139,731 to add a shelter and kayak launch at the City of Nelsonville Dog Park, encouraging outdoor recreation; and
  • $100,000 to add sports infrastructure at the Buchtel Village Park, promoting community sportsmanship. 

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. 

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