You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark County to spend $250K on economic development


Clark County commissioners approved spending $250,000 on Wednesday toward economic development efforts in the community.

Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize a $200,000 contract with the Community Improvement Corp. of Springfield and Clark County.

In addition, commissioners signed contracts to give the CIC $25,000 for both the Small Business Development Center Loan Fund and the Dayton Development Coalition.

Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the CIC, said money from the county is key to his organization. It provides resources for staffing, business retention and expansion efforts, he said.

County Commissioner John Detrick said the money helps the organizations gain and retain businesses and jobs in Clark County.

The SBDC Loan Fund provides money to small businesses to purchase real estate, equipment and resources needed to locate within Clark County. The development coalition and the CIC have played key roles in securing Code Blue, Detrick said, which has brought nearly 300 jobs to the area and Love’s, a travel center that is expected to bring 60 to Clark County.

“(Code Blue) wouldn’t have come here without the help of the Dayton Development Coalition,” he said.

Hobbs said the CIC works with other economic development groups locally and in the region.

“Economic development is not just about the number of jobs and investments. It’s as much about providing an eco-system where businesses can thrive,” Hobbs said. “It’s working in partnership with other businesses to find solutions for overall issues that impact our community. That is as valuable as 100 jobs or a $100 million investment.”

The Dayton Development Coalition was recently highlighted in a Springfield News-Sun investigation that found that the organization receives millions from taxpayers each year, but operates secretly making it is impossible to gauge how successful it is in bringing jobs and investment to the region or how wisely it spends the public’s money.

The investigation found that $64.5 million in local, state and federal funds since 2004 have gone to the coalition, the region’s primary economic development arm, and its affiliates.

But the agency doesn’t release its annual budget, conflict of interest policies or financial statements, the report said.

Clark County provided the coalition with $25,000 in funding this year, up from $15,000 in 2013. In 2012, the coalition received $8,000 from the county, according to County Administrator Nathan Kennedy.

The increase to $25,000 this year was due largely to the Dayton Development Coalition’s effort to win federal designation as an Unmanned Aerial Systems testing site.

The coalition spent more than $1.5 million in taxpayer money for the failed attempt.

But Detrick commended the organization for their effort.

“They pushed hard. They’re still pushing us hard,” Detrick said. “They put us at the table for all projects. They put us at the table for many things. It’s good representation.”

Commissioner David Hartley voted in favor of funding the CIC as well as the Small Business Development Center and the coalition.

Hartley said officials need to look closely at economic development organizations they fund and their results.

“It’s something I will be looking at. There’s a lack of transparency. Their needs to be more openness,” Hartley said, referring to the newspaper’s investigation into the development coalition.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Showdown likely over health care after inauguration
Showdown likely over health care after inauguration

If the devil is in the details, one of the toughest tasks about repealing and replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act may be the timeline. Some congressional Republicans want to repeal the bill now, and then spend two years instituting a replacement. During the transition period, they’ve said, no one would lose benefits. But President-elect Donald...
Clark County to buy old armory, possible site for new hotel
Clark County to buy old armory, possible site for new hotel

Clark County’s deal to purchase the Ohio National Guard Armory site for $125,000 site is expected to be finalized in the next two to three months — which could lead to new development near one of the county’s largest tourism generators. Ohio Department of Administrative Services officials verbally approved the deal last year for the...
Obama, Pence interviews on WHIO-TV Sunday
Obama, Pence interviews on WHIO-TV Sunday

With the inauguration just a few days away, Sunday will be all about politics on WHIO-TV Channel 7. Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. Vice President-elect Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be on Face the Nation. Following Pence’s interview will be a special edition of WHIO Reports with Jim Otte previewing the inauguration of Donald Trump. On the show will...
South Vienna adds income tax without resident vote
South Vienna adds income tax without resident vote

The new year brought a new income tax to South Vienna, in effect after the village council approved it last year but without a vote by residents. The village had no income tax before Jan 1. The one percent income tax didn’t need to be approved by voters, South Vienna Mayor Toni Keller said, because the law only requires council approval for an...
Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase
Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase

Springfield city commissioners will likely vote whether to place an income tax increase back on the ballot this spring, just months after a similar proposal was rejected at the polls. City staff members have recommended commissioners approve placing a 5½-year income tax increase on the May 2 primary ballot. The income tax rate in Springfield...
More Stories