COLUMBUS - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today signed House Bill 377, which includes the historic $500 million Appalachian Community Grant Program. State Representative Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) approved the initiative supporting Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties with a “yes” vote early in June.
“I applaud the State Legislature for focusing their attention on this special part of Ohio. For too long, Appalachia was neglected, constituents suffered for it,” said Baldridge. “After much work, I’m proud to announce that Appalachia is getting a fair shake.”
Under the bill, the program is appropriated $500 million in the fiscal year 2022 to implement two different types of grants: Appalachian Planning Grants and Appalachian Development Grants.
Appalachian Planning Grants are available to counties to assist with research, planning and project proposal costs. Development grants will be available to support the implementation of projects.
Priority will be given to projects that have region-wide impact, are evidence-based, include a private-public partnership, are economically sustainable and prove to be transformative to the region.
“This important funding will be vital to updating communities across Appalachia,” said Baldridge.
The Department of Development will be responsible for administering the program in consultation with local development districts. Responsibilities include developing an application process and eligibility requirements.
The measure now heads to Governor DeWine’s desk to be signed into law.