$500 million coming to Ohio’s Appalachian counties, applicants enouraged to ‘think big’ on applications

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By Carol McIntire


Carroll County Commissioner Chris Modranski was one of several representatives from the 32 Appalachian counties in Ohio on hand at the Governor’s Columbus residence last week when Mike DeWine signed House Bill 377 in law.

The bill creates the Appalachian Community Grant program, which will provide $500 million in funding to provide both sustainable and transformative projects for the 32 counties.

“The funds will be disbursed on a competitive basis as grants and priority will be given to projects that will have a far-reaching impact in both the private and public sectors,” Modranski said. “The Governor said to think big, think transformational, not normal, think outside the box, think collaboratively and think innovatively.”

The three categories include infrastructure, but no funds will be used for roads, water or sewer or broadband projects, healthcare and workforce development. 

 Projects chosen first will be ones that focus on sustainability allowing them to benefit the generation of the future.

“They are encouraging collaboration with other agencies, countywide projects or projects with more than one county such as walking and biking trails that would connect one county with another,” Modranski noted. 

“Appalachia Ohio has long been in need of funding and the people of the region will benefit greatly from this investment,” said Don Jones (R-Freeport). “Appalachia Ohio is a wonderful and beautiful place to call home and I am encouraged to see this historic funding coming to our region which will improve the opportunity for our future generations.”

Modranski sought and was given approval by his fellow county commissioners during the June 30 meeting, to begin forming a committee “to put some really big ideas together.” 

Guidelines for the funding are expected to be released by the end of July. 

House Bill 377 will become effective in 90 days. 

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