Moraine seeks $750K for unnamed employer, 500 new jobs

Employer plans $46 million in new building construction

Moraine leaders made their pitch Tuesday for $750,000 in Montgomery County incentives to an anonymous employer who will invest $300 million near the old General Motors assembly site, promising 500 new jobs.

“It’s a great regional opportunity,” Matt Eisenbraun, Moraine development director, told a committee who will decide whether applications for Montgomery County Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) dollars deserve funding.

In all, five businesses are asking for a total of $1,594,400 in ED/GE funds; the county has nearly $2.1 million remaining from the spring 2022 ED/GE funding round. ED/GE grants are awarded twice a year.

While the advisory committee makes recommendations on how much ED/GE proposals should receive — or whether they should be funded at all — the trio of county commissioners have the final say.

When an employer wants the shield of confidentiality, ED/GE proposals are often code-named. In Moraine’s case, the employer behind “Project Sky” promises 500 new jobs over three years, at an average annual salary of about $52,000.

Integral to the project is a planned $46 million in new building construction, officials said.

For its part, Moraine has committed to a $750,000 “forgiveness loan” for the employer and the Moraine school district is considering its own possible incentives, Moraine City Manager Michael Davis told the ED/GE advisory committee. Davis also said JobsOhio officials are aware of the project, as well.

It was an ED/GE grant that helped bring Fuyao Glass America’s to Moraine in 2014, to much of what was the old GM plant off Stroop Road and Springboro Pike. That company employs more than 2,000 workers today.

Another big ED/GE project seeks $500,000 for infrastructure and road work near a new Dayton Freight terminal in Union.

The hope there is to build a widened, truck-friendly “ring road” north and west around Dayton International Airport, pulling semi truck traffic south down a widened Old Springfield Road, away from more populated areas.

County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman said she and fellow Commissioner Judy Dodge, a resident of Vandalia, have heard plenty of concerns over the years about heavy truck traffic west of the airport as the area has attracted approximately $2 billion in industrial development since Procter & Gamble built its Union distribution center in 2014.

Lieberman said she is sympathetic to concerns but added: “Look, we want growth. Everyone wants jobs.”

John Applegate, Union city manager, said city staff have heard the same concerns. He said the city has worked with carriers and logistic companies to “confine” their traffic to the right routes.

“It was a learning experience with P&G,” he said.

The area is home to — or soon will be home to — Amazon, Crocs, P&G and many others. One developer alone, Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development, had spearheaded the development of 4.7 million square feet of industrial space in in that area as of September 2021.

“It’s not really Dayton Freight per se, but the whole area,” said Steve Stanley, executive director of the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District, referring to who could benefit from a new ring road.

Meanwhile, another community’s potential ED/GE project is no longer in the running for funds.

Miamisburg had applied for the funds, saying a company wanted to build a 450,000-square-foot facility on 34 acres in the Austin Center area off Old Byers Road, employing 275 people at an annual payroll of $24 million, sparking what was thought would be that city’s biggest manufacturing revival in some time.

However, Miamisburg officials contacted the county late Monday and said that project was no longer possible, said Gwen Eberly, Montgomery County’s economic development planning manager.

In another meeting Nov. 30, committee members will decide which projects to fund and how much they will receive.

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