Clark County projects prioritized by regional economic group for state, federal funding

A project at the Springfield Municipal Airport has been listed as a top priority for funding by a greater Dayton regional group. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

caption arrowCaption
A project at the Springfield Municipal Airport has been listed as a top priority for funding by a greater Dayton regional group. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Several Clark County projects that aim to benefit the area economically have been given spots on a list of top priorities for funding by a coalition that represents the region.

A project related to the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport as well as one that calls for renovations at the Springfield Museum of Art were listed by the Dayton Region Priority Development & Advocacy Committee as priorities for funding this year.

In addition to that, a project that deals with the renovation and upgrade of a performing arts center at Clark State College was marked as a recommended project for funding by the committee. Another project to receive that distinction deals with fiber-optic connectivity in Clark County.

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However, making the list does not guarantee funding for those projects since the committee itself is not awarding the money. Instead it aims to highlight community efforts that its members say deserve state and federal support.

The effort is led by the Dayton Development Coalition with support from the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

Those organizations work with local leadership to select projects for recommendation for a state capital bill that awards funding every two years, said Mike McDorman, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

The main focus for the chamber is on projects that aid the economic development of the City of Springfield and Clark County, McDorman said. The chamber is also seeking other forms of funding for priority projects from the state and JobsOhio, he said.

“The focus for now has been downtown. There are a lot of private development opportunities and these investments improve our ability to further land future opportunities,” McDorman said.

McDorman expects funding for some of the projects highlighted on the list to be included in the state capital bill. He expects the bill to be approved this year.

The goal of the list is to set regional priorities for community projects and allows the Dayton Region to speak with one voice when seeking governmental and other project support, according to a news release that also included the list of projects seeking funding.

The list features a total of 76 projects that fall into three categories such as priority, recommended or reviewed. Those listed as a priority were identified as top projects that would have the largest impact on the region.

One includes the Springfield Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Operations Center that would be located at the municipal airport. That project is seeking $2.5 million in funding and the request was made by the City of Springfield.

The total cost of the project is slated to be $4 million.

The center would provide space and a hanger for companies that are utilizing SkyVision, a radar system at the airport designed to track Unmanned Aerial Systems within a 225-sqaure mile airspace.

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The building would tie into other projects that would support growing the airport’s “advanced air mobility campus,” said Tom Franzen, director of economic development for the City of Springfield.

He added that the city hopes to move forward with the project this year.

Another priority project on the list includes renovating the studio art classrooms and a special event banquet room at the Springfield Museum of Art.

The total cost of the project is slated to be $5.9 million and about $4 million has been received or pledged, according to information posted on the website of the Dayton Development Coalition. Over half of that funding comes from individual donations.

A request has been made for $902,800 in capital and other funding opportunities for those renovations.

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