Six community projects set to receive more than $1 million in state funding

By Megan Alley
Sun staff

Six community projects are slated to receive more than a total of $1 million dollars in funding from the state.

The monies, $1.06 million to be exact, are part of the Ohio General Assembly’s recently introduced capital bill legislation.

The projects that are set to receive funding are:

– Mercy Health’s dental residency facilities for $500,000.

– Empower Youth long barn for $50,000.

– Child Focus’s opiate addiction supervised visitation facilities for $50,000.

– Valley View Foundation’s outdoor classroom for $125,000.

– Miami Township Leming House renovations for $60,000.

– Pierce Township learning and history trail project for $275,000.

The Ohio General Assembly usually enacts a capital appropriations bill every two years to fund community projects, according to a press release. Last year, the Clermont County Port Authority, State Sen. Joe Uecker and State Reps. Doug Green and Jon Becker worked together to develop a process to identify, evaluate and recommend projects that met funding requirements and that were aligned with the current state legislator’s public policy priorities.

Sixteen projects from around the county were submitted for evaluation, of which seven were proposed by the port authority for funding, and six were chosen.

On Feb. 26, HB 529 and SB 266 contained the $1.06 million in funding the six project projects.

Lori Conley, executive director for Empower Youth, said the funding is “a game changer” for the organization.

This will allow us to work with even more volunteer groups as well as serve more student groups,” she explained. “This $50,000 grant will specifically help us put in a septic system that will not only service our long barn project, but eventually service our managers quarters.”

Tara Keith, director of marketing and development for Child Focus, said the organization is very grateful for its strong county and public official partnerships to help move its community mental health, foster care and early learning goals forward. 

She went on to explain that the funding that Child Focus is set to receive from the state is not quite as much as the organization need in order to complete the their capital improvement project.

In January we invited the county and state to assist Child Focus with a very important capital improvement project, one that will impact our services for at-risk families well into the future. The building that will house this service is in need of renovation to accommodate visitation services,” Keith said in an email. “Even though the county prioritized opiates for capital funding, the state is so overwhelmed by the epidemic that we only received a quarter of the funding. “

She added, “We are still committed to this project but are evaluating the impact of reduced funding.”