Last updated: March 27. 2014 6:42PM - 905 Views
Staff Report GDTnews@civitasmedia.com

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GALLIPOLIS—Three area projects will get a much-needed financial boost courtesy of the state’s capital budget bill.

Thanks to House Bill 497, which appropriates funding for local projects throughout the state, $100,000 will be available to the city of Gallipolis to help build an amphitheater and lawn seating along the city’s riverfront.

The French Art Colony will also receive $100,000 for upgrades to its facilities, including a new facility for the Riverby Theater Guild, equipment upgrades for gallery spaces, upgrades to Riverby, and restoration of the Water Babies fountain.

The Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Center will also benefit from the state’s generosity and receive $100,000 for various renovations, restoration of the box office, restroom expansion and ADA compliance-related issues.

State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, applauded the Ohio House of Representatives’ passage of he bill.

Other southeastern Ohio projects that will benefit from the bill include:

  • $325,000 to build a 10,000-square-foot building to house the Ohio River Research and Development Center to help business startups, relocation and expansion;
  • $150,000 to continue the renovation of the 83-year-old Markay Cultural Arts Center in Jackson to provide life dance and music performances, as well as workshops;
  • $100,000 for the construction of the Ironton Cultural Arts Operation Facility, which will be built adjacent to the operating theater and provide support services as well as new space for outdoor events;
  • $100,000 to construct a half-mile walking path in Proctorville;
  • $50,000 for the installation of recycled bridges to allow for full use of an 11.2-mile trail in Zaleski.

The capital budget also transfers $450,000 in funding from the Louvee Treater to the Wellston City Parks and Recreation Improvements Project.

“I was very happy to find out that some important community projects within my district would be receiving state funding,” Smith said. “The capital improvements budget is dispersed throughout the state, and it means a lot to my constituents and I that some of that funding was diverted our way. Such art and research projects are not only an important part of the life and vitality of my district, but to the energy and society of Ohio as a whole.”

The capital budget focuses on the most pressing needs of state government, schools and economic development within Ohio’s communities. It is a collaborative process involving state and local leaders, the economic development community, the arts community, and others to provide guidance on local investments, while balancing the state’s need for fiscal restraint and responsibility.

House Bill 497 passed by a vote of 89-2 in the House and now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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