• Increase use of recreational, historical and cultural assets
• Attract more visitors
• Support economic development
• Strengthen river corridor neighborhoods.
Kegley said part of the coalition message to potential partners is the power of recreation.
“Recreation is a real economic generator,” he said. Recreation generates more than $17 million in consumer spending in Ohio, provides more than 196,000 jobs and brings in over $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues, he said.
Those statistics, he said, can be combined with needs such as workforce development and the interests of today’s millennials in active outdoor recreation including kayaking, canoeing and other water sports in the state.
“If we can use the resources we have such as the river, it can turn it into an economic generator for all of us,” Kegley said.
“I am excited about the potential,” said Commissioner Greg Simmons.
Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said increased recreation and visitors means more sales tax for the county. The coalition also provides another opportunity for regional cooperation, he said.
Membership amounts are based on population. Kegley said potential partners are asked to consider a five-year commitment to provide stability to organization. It is working to hire its first staff member.
More information on the Great Miami Riverway Coalition is available online at www.greatmiamiriverway.
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