Local economic development projects seek millions in federal funding

The Dayton Region Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC) on Thursday released a list of proposed local projects that will be evaluated for recommendation for millions of dollars state and federal funding.

The PDAC, a group of about 25 community and business leaders convened by the Dayton Development Coalition, has been soliciting project proposals since October from a variety of fields, including defense, economic development, transportation, health care and quality of life projects.

The projects will be evaluated for their potential to create jobs and boost economic growth in the regional, then be referred to one of five review panels, which will submit recommendations to the full committee.

In addition, a public comment period has been opened through the end of the month, allowing community members to offer their input on projects to help establish a list of regional priorities.

“We examine projects, give them a public airing…and then look to determine which ones are eligible for funding,” said Michael Gessel, who is responsible for government relations and advocacy for the coalition’s programs. “Some of these projects may be eligible for state capital funding. Some may be eligible for funding under various kinds of federal programs. But the critical element is whether they are eligible for funding.”

PDAC committee members will travel to Washington, D.C. this spring to present a list of projects to potential funders.

The process “allows the Dayton Region to speak with one voice when seeking governmental and other support for local projects,” PDAC said in a press release.

Requests for funding include:

• $15 million to support human effectiveness applied research at Wright State Applied Research Corp., a division of the Wright State Research Institute in Beavercreek. The funding would be used to increases critical research to reduce the cost and improve mission effectiveness of Air Force first responders, intelligence systems operations, cyber protection, air support operations centers and training.

• $3.4 million for a new music venue in Montgomery County that would offer free live music, ranging from emerging talent to seasoned award-winning artist, in an effort to build community relationships.

• $2 million for the proposed Midtown development project that includes mixed-use of retail, commercial and housing at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton.

• $640,000 to finish the basement level of the Ellis Human Development Institute at Wright State University to expand psychiatry services to more people, especially under-served communities. The project would create between 100 and 250 jobs.

• $150,000 for a proposed Funk Center in Dayton that would be used to create a museum for funk music memorabilia and to showcase Dayton’s unique past in the development of the funk music genre.

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