Approval from city “sets stage” for Dayton Arcade’s financial close

The Dayton City Commission unanimously approved seven ordinances and two resolutions for the Dayton Arcade redevelopment, “setting the stage for the project’s much anticipated financial close,” the Dayton Business Journal reports. The commission approved authorizing the city manager to enter into Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax abatement agreements with Dayton Rotunda Commerical LLC and South Arcade Commerical LLC, “providing real property tax incentives to the project in accordance with the city’s agreement with Dayton Public Schools,” according to the article. Additionally, the commission approved “the petition and supplemental plan for special energy improvement projects” and authorized the city manager to execute an $11 million loan agreement with CityWide Development Corp. Bricker & Eckler LLP served as counsel to the City of Dayton for this important redevelopment project. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

OPSB approves 150-MW Willowbrook Solar Farm construction

State regulators recently approved a project to construct a new, 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm in southwest Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The Willowbrook Solar farm “will consist of arrays of solar panels on up to 1,726 acres in Eagle Township in Brown County and Concord and White Oak townships in Highland County,” the article reports. Construction is expected to begin this year, with the farm becoming operational in early 2021. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Campbell school district plans solar project

The Campbell City School District will lease approximately 10 acres to a solar company as part of a project “to cut its facility costs and carbon footprint,” The Vindicator reports. The district “has spent the past six months working with Guaranteed Clean Energy of Dublin, Ohio,” whose “Energy for Education” program “helps public entities effectively partner with sustainability companies,” according to the article. Campbell Superintendent Matthew Bowen “said the district estimates the new solar program alone will save $34,399 annually.” Additionally, the district “will use the program to invest in new LED lighting, which is projected to save $67,172 annually.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

AEP Ohio installing 96,000 smart meters in Canton area

AEP Ohio is replacing more than 96,000 analog electric meters in the Canton area with “smart meters,” which provide real-time meter readings, eliminate estimated bills and alert AEP of power outages more quickly, CantonRep.com reports. AEP spokesperson Jessica Wright said the smart meters provide “secure transfer of a customer’s usage information for billing and operational purposes” and eliminate the need for utility workers to visit customers’ properties to read the meter, according to the article. AEP “joined the Green Button initiative, an industry and federal government effort to make energy use information more accessible to customers.” For more, read the full article

Miscellaneous, State Updates

Mayfield Village looks at CRA to incentivize business

The Mayfield Village Council is expected to vote this month on the formation of a community reinvestment area (CRA) to “make Mayfield more attractive to new and existing businesses,” Cleveland.com reports. Mayor Brenda Bodnar said the village realized “a CRA is a tool most communities around here have in their tool kit . . . we wanted that to be in our tool box, too,” according to the article. Within the CRA, commercial projects making a minimum $300,000 improvement could apply for a property tax abatement of up to 100 percent of the added value for up to 15 years. Village Economic Development Director John Marquart said the CRA’s incentives would allow “Mayfield Village the ability to make more competitive offers to developers and/or companies.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Energy innovation center will anchor OSU’s west campus innovation district

A multi-phase project to create an Energy Advancement and Innovation Center at The Ohio State University (OSU) “could be the glue” that holds the school’s emerging west campus innovation district together, Columbus Business First reports. The project was part of the bidding process for OSU’s energy management partnership with Engie and Axium (see our April 12, 2017 blog post). Serdar Tufekci, CEO of Ohio State Energy Partners — an entity formed by OSU and Engie — said “the innovation district is the ‘perfect fit’” for what his group wants to accomplish, “a place to take the research ideas from the Interdisciplinary Research Facility and ‘turn them into innovative products or processes that can have an impact.” For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, State Updates

Ohio Senate passes bill to authorize state tax credits for Opportunity Zones investments

Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), authorizing “a nonrefundable income tax credit equal to 10% of a taxpayer’s investment” in designated Opportunity Zones in the state, passed an Ohio Senate vote 31-0, Gongwer reports. The legislation “works in conjunction with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” and addresses a specific issue not covered in that act, a release on Senate President Larry Obhof’s page states. The federal law “did not specify that investments from Ohio need to be made in Ohio”; SB 8 “adds an additional Ohio tax advantage to encourage investments in an Opportunity Zone Fund that will be used exclusively in state,” according to the release. Obhof said in the release, “Senate Bill 8 will incentivize investments in these areas in order to foster new development, job creation and improved local tax revenue.” For more, read the full release.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Painesville energy improvements funded by NOPEC grants

Three separate grants from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council will enable Painesville Township to “begin multiple energy conservation improvements” in government buildings, The News-Herald reports. The grants, for approximately $50,000 each, “have been scheduled yearly from 2018 to 2020,” according to the article. Painesville will make improvements to its fire stations including replacement of HVAC systems with more efficient models and insulating ceilings in the bays. The Township Hall’s indoor lighting will be replaced with LED bulbs to lower energy usage. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Gov. DeWine proposes income tax credit for investors in distressed communities

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a proposed 10-percent income tax credit “for businesses that invest in economically distressed parts” of the state and create jobs, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The tax credit would apply to Opportunity Zones (see our August 13, 2018 blog post), a program that “involves the use of federal tax credits to provide incentives to businesses to move into or expand in the zones.” DeWine told a business roundtable, “[w]hat we propose to do in Ohio is enhance these with a tax break also from the state of Ohio,” and that the new tax credit is also intended “to induce people outside the state to invest in Ohio.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Ohio ranks in top 10 states for clean energy jobs

A new report from nonpartisan business group E2 shows nearly 113,000 people “are employed in Ohio’s clean energy sector,” ranking the state eighth in the country “for the number of people employed in the clean energy sector,” Cleveland Scene reports. That number reflects a 4.6-percent increase in the past year, higher than the national growth rate of 3.6 percent. E2 Executive Director Robert Keefe “says the biggest story is the 16 percent growth in clean vehicle manufacturing . . . spurred by growing consumer adoption of electric vehicle technology, state expansion of charging infrastructure, and falling battery prices.” Clean car employment increased by 9 percent, or approximately 1,300 new jobs. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates
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