Montgomery County commissioners Thursday unanimously approved $1.2 million for two key projects — building a downtown development and bringing large manufacturer to a local former General Motors plant.
In all, some $2.1 million was approved for 11 development proposals across the county.
“Those were some great projects this time,” said Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.
“Project Southbound” — a local codename for the city of Moraine’s appeal to Montgomery County for funding to help bring a large manufacturer to a former GM plant — received a $700,000, in line with a recommendation made last week by a committee of local leaders, the ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) Advisory Committee.
All three commissioners serve on the ED/GE committee, which selects which development proposals to fund.
And commissioners Thursday approved $500,000 for Dayton to boost the “Water Street” development between Fifth Third Field and the Great Miami River, a development that county Administrator Joe Tuss would serve as a “bridge” between Dayton’s Tech Town business park and downtown.
The $33.5 million initial phase of Dayton’s Water Street project will include the building of a 50,000-square-foot commercial building, at least 150 apartments, a 480-space parking garage and more.
In Moraine, an unnamed tenant company could employ up to 800 workers at the industrial complex between Kettering Boulevard and Ohio 741, a former GM plant now owned by a California industrial redeveloper and called “Progress Park.” GM ceased auto assembly at the plant five years ago.
If brought to the plant, the company would the site’s largest employer since GM left.
“It’s one more step,” Dave Hicks, Moraine city manager, said after commissioners approved the money.
The city is working with the state’s private development arm, JobsOhio to shepherd the process further, Hicks said. “I know the state is aggressively pursuing this, as is the city. Neither has settled on the amount (of assistance for the project) yet.”
He thinks the next step could be a request for funding to the Ohio Controlling Board, perhaps in the next two months.
Among the other projects that received funding: Independent Can Co. was approved for $200,000 of a requested $300,000. ED/GE committee members expressed the hope that the manufacturer will use the money to buy land south of its current new building in Vandalia for a future expansion.
Tuss also praised the $60,000 set aside for Dayton Superior Corp.’s “innovation center.” The investment further anchors the concrete construction products company in Miamisburg, Tuss said.
The Dayton Daily News first reported the possibility of a substantial manufacturer finding a home in a former auto plant in Moraine — perhaps employing up to 800 workers, according to city and county leaders — and the newspaper will continue to follow developments as the story unfolds.