Union seeks $500K to build ‘ring road network’ near Dayton airport

The city of Union is seeking Montgomery County development funds for roadwork to accommodate not just the new Dayton Freight terminal in the area but all businesses operating to the north and west of Dayton International Airport.

The community seeks $500,000 in county Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) funds to improve Old Springfield Road for Dayton Freight’s new 56-acre terminal and maintenance facility.

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Total employment there is expected to exceed 200 positions with an annual payroll above $12 million, Union said in its application for ED/GE funds.

The city wants to build three lanes along the facility’s frontage, with curb, gutter, sewer and street light work.

But the work will benefit not just Dayton Freight, Union said.

“The roadway improvements will further the development of a local ‘ring road’ network on the north and west sides of Dayton International Airport in the rapidly developing industrial area near the Interstate 70/Interstate 75 interchange, benefitting all of the new businesses operating in the area,” Union said in its ED/GE application.

In February, Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District (TID) planners agreed to approve a development pact with freight carrier Dayton Freight, which was then planning to build the 211,770-square-foot facility in Union.

The property in question was owned by the city of Dayton within the city of Union, TID officials said then. As a result of a settlement between those two cities, there was an agreement to sell the land to Dayton Freight.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday for John Applegate, Union city manager.

A “ring road” near the airport is something planners have discussed for years, said Steve Stanley, TID executive director. The idea is to make sure roads can handle growing traffic near the concentration of logistics companies north and west of the airport — as well as future development.

“It has been something of a piecemeal effort to improve roadways one project at a time,” Stanley said.

The “ring” would include U.S. 40 to the west, Old Springfield Road to the east, Union Airpark Boulevard with five lanes extended to the north, Peters Pike/Road and Lightner Road.

The idea is to accommodate traffic (as one possible route) off the Northwoods Boulevard interchange at I-75, going around the airport and then south down a widened Union Airpark to U.S. 40, then south (down the airport access road) to I-70, Stanley said.

Dayton Freight, headquartered at 6450 Poe Ave., has more than 5,000 employees, mostly across the Midwest, and nearly 4,300 trailers.

Anthony Rocco, Dayton Freight’s chief operating officer, told the Dayton Daily News last year that his company’s industry segment is the time-sensitive “less than truckload” or LTL market. Sometimes, his drivers are able to unload their relatively small deliveries themselves, Rocco said at the time.

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Designed as an economic incentive since 1992, ED/GE grants are derived from countywide sales tax proceeds from participating communities. Funds also come from shared tax revenues.

Business do not apply for the grants. Instead, they work with local communities to approach the county for grants on their behalf.

A committee of local leaders decide which applications merit funding and if so, how much they should receive. County commissioners will vote on that committee’s recommendations, probably in late November or early December.

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