At the June 28 meeting of the Clark County Commissioners, both Vice-President of Economic Development Horton Hobbs for the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and Clark County’s Community Development Director reported to the commissioners on the accomplishments of their organizations in their community development activities.

Hobbs began the presentation with an update on what the CIC accomplished in 2016. According to Hobbs, the CIC attracted 1,020 new jobs and retained 1,400 in the Springfield area. They also assisted 212 companies in attracting and supporting capital investments. The CIC secured $67.2 million in assistance to companies throughout the area.

Hobbs noted that there has been an increasing trend for foreign company investments in the area.

However, Hobbs noted that the area still faces challenges in developing workforce skills and convincing prospective business that the area is a great place to live. He also noted that the local area needs to invest in quality of life improvements to attract more businesses to the area.

Hale, who has been working with Buxton Company to attract retail establishments, has made some progress. By December 2016, they had identified 20 retail establishments that they determined were best fits for the Springfield area and sent packages to each retailer to entice the companies to expand their operations in Springfield. They are in the process of talking to several companies including clothing, restaurant, quick service restaurants, and hardware companies. However, none of the companies want to be identified until a firm commitment is made.

The challenges that Hale and Buxton are facing include a hesitancy for companies to commit to locating here because of the uncertainty of politics in Washington D.C. The companies want to wait until the trends are more clear for future economic development. He also indicated that most retailers want to locate south of town because of the proximity to the I 70/SR 72 interchange and the I 70/US 40 interchange because of the number of cars passing through those locations.

Both Hale and Hobbs are optimistic about the future development of Clark County.

In regular business, the commissioners approved over $3.1 million in contacts for the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS). Most of the contracts are effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019. These contracts include a wide variety of services for the citizens of Clark County struggling with economic and social issues in their lives.

They approved a contract with CitiLookout for $65,280 to provide group counseling to individuals to help overcome parenting barriers through the Journey to Freedom program The Journey to Freedom is a voluntary 27-week program designed to challenge negative thoughts that result in any type of violence towards intimate partners.

They authorized a contract with Family and Youth Initiatives for $171,600 to provide education and resources to parents to help with pregnancy and raising a child from birth through age five.

They approved a contract with Interfaith Hospitality Network of Springfield for $400,000 to provide emergency shelter and case management services.

They authorized a contract with Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley for $218,665.60 to provide marriage and relationship education, marriage mentoring and community advocacy through the Strong Family, Strong Future Program.

They approved a contract with Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield for $144,000 to provide programming that includes homebuyer education, credit and financial literacy counseling, down payment assistance, emergency home repair services, second mortgages and mortgage delinquency counseling.

They approved a contract with Opportunities for Individual Change for $190,616 to provide training, employment, and career advancement services to adults who have a criminal history as a barrier to employment.

They authorized a contract with Pregnancy Resource Clinic of Clark County for $42,000 to provide care, support and resources to women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy

They approved a contract with Project Woman of Springfield and Clark County for $139,778 to provide supports and interventions to Clark County residents experiencing domestic violence.

They authorized a contract with SiFi Ministry for $50,000 to shelter, educate, coach and accountability, transportation, trauma and addition counseling, social services case management and connection to community resources for women whose lives have been affected by trauma and addition through the Safe Harbor Program.

They authorized a contract with Springfield Promise Neighborhood for $112,533 to provide Neighborhood Engagement and the opportunity for low-income adult residents to organize efforts that will strengthen individual and community.

They authorized a contract with United Senior Services for $29,024 to provide advocacy and protection for senior citizens through the Volunteer Guardian Program.

They authorized a contract with Clark County Juvenile Court for $350,980.45 to operate the Clark County Intervention Court.

They also approved a contract for the Clark County Juvenile Court to administer case management and community placement services.

Finally, they authorized a contract with Miami Valley Child Development Centers, Inc. for $37,200 to provide Early Head Start program services for up to eight children from July 1, 2017 through June 30 2018.

For the Community and Economic Development, the commissioners awarded a contract to Ray Hensley Inc. for $47,733.40 for the London Road Improvement Project.

They also instructed the clerk to advertise for bids for the City of New Carlisle Prentice Drive Improvement Project and the Mad River Township Joseph Drive Improvement Project for the Community and Economic Development Department. Both projects are in accordance with Community Development Block Grants. The bids are due in the Commissioners’ Office by 10:00 a.m. on July 13, 2017.

For the Transportation Director, the commissioners authorized a contract with Ohio Public Works Commissioner for $65,000 that authorizes the Clark County Springfield-TCC to provide administrative services for District 11 Public Works Integrating Committee from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

In routine business, the commissioners changed the meeting date and time of the Commissioners meeting from July 5, 2017 to July 6, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the commissioners’ conference room.

They also authorized a payment to Quality Masonry Co., Inc. of $110,850 for the masonry restoration project for the A.B. Graham and Courthouse and a payment of $12,996 plus interest to Arcon Builders, LTD for the Juvenile Court Courtyard Improvement Project.

Finally, the commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide recovery services and coordination following a disaster for five years with Ohio Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)

The next meeting of the Clark County Commissioners is scheduled for July 6, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the commissioners’ conference room at E Columbia Street.