Southeast Ohio Counties Receive State Appalachian Development Grants

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The Governor's Office of Appalachia announced today that the state will fund projects in 12 Appalachian counties and one project to study tourism with more than $227,000 from State Appalachian Development grants.

The grants are designated for projects that will increase job opportunities for residents in the Appalachian region as well as improve the community infrastructure to encourage economic development activities.

Projects in nine southeast Ohio counties received grant money, including Athens, Perry, Meigs, Tuscarawas, Morgan, Jefferson, Belmont and Washington counties. 

"The projects receiving grants address a variety of community needs, including improvements to a library, community center and county courthouse," said Jason Wilson, director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia.

In Athens County, a Nelsonville art studio and shop, received $20,000 to help fund a four-week, arts-based summer enrichment and wellness program for 60 Nelsonville-York City School District students between 5th and 10th grade. During the camp this summer, students will participate in a curriculum designed to boost self-esteem through art-based classes.

In Jefferson County, the Brightway Center received $30,000 to renovate the center's equipment barn into an activity center.

Belmont County's Eastern Ohio Extension Camps, Inc. received $4,200 to improve energy efficiency at their facility. The project will replace 69 windows in 14 cabins at the Piedmont Camp facility, bringing the cabins up to energy efficiency and safety standards.

Perry, Washington and Tuscarawas County received funds to repair roofs on government buildings. 

Community center repair projects in Morgan, Meigs and Perry County will also be funded by the grants.

Ohio's Appalachian Country, Inc., which includes all 32 Appalachian counties, received $32,000 to hire a company to study the impact of tourism on individual counties as well as the entire Appalachian region.