Affordable childcare among Miami County’s development organization’s goals

Miami County’s new development organization, a Community Improvement Corp., has listed affordable childcare, transportation and incubator space for businesses to grow among its goals.

The CIC, also includes a Land Reutilization Corp. or a land bank, to facilitate effective reuse of non-productive land within the county along with the promotion of countywide economic development function.

This hybrid style of CIC and land bank is the first of its kind in Ohio, said Rich Osgood, county community development director who organizes the meetings and worked on the CIC creation.

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The organization’s board includes county commissioners Wade Westfall and Greg Simmons, Troy’s Service and Safety Director Patrick Titterington, county Treasurer Jim Stubbs and Ben Redick, a private sector representative who works with Bruns Realty Group.

The CIC is intended to work in areas of business development, business incubators, business attraction and in cooperation with other CICs and development councils. The goal is to “fill in gaps, not overlapping” activities, Osgood said.

“The organization is guided by the primary principal of collaboration,” he said. “We recognize and acknowledge all the great economic development activity happening across the county, and in particular, we will work to compliment organizations such as the Troy Development Council and Grow Piqua Now, as well as all work happening at the local government level. It is not our intention to duplicate any of the excellent work already happening.”

The organization was formed after extensive discussions by the county commission, which earlier this month approved $80,000 in seed money.

The seed money will be reimbursed once the organization obtains its own dedicated funding such as delinquent tax and assessment collection or a piece of conveyance fees, according to the contract for services and seed funding.

Simmons, county commission president, said the commission also is looking at using some of its American Rescue Plan Act relief funds for organization projects. The county is to receive $20 million in ARPA funds.

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The board has met with different community leaders to discuss its short- and longer-term efforts. It recently heard from land bank representatives from Montgomery County. Earlier this year discussions included development representatives from communities including Tipp City.

Matt Spring, Tipp City community development director, said it would be critical for the organization to have a short-term “win.”

City leaders, including those in development, have heard about workforce issues for years, Spring said. As an example, he pointed to the warehouse type operations growing in the region and the inability of employers to attract and keep enough on staff.

Work is underway on hiring of a development services manager for the organization. Two candidates were being considered for that position with hopes of bringing someone on board by A planned leadership retreat planned in September, Osgood said.

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