By Liz Winhover - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Kiser Lake State Park in Champaign County is set to receive new rustic log cabins by early spring of 2018.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently requested funds from the Controlling Board in order to purchase construction materials to construct and install wooden cabins in several state parks, including Kiser Lake.
“The addition will improve attendance to the lake,” Alyssa Beaty, campground attendant, said, adding that the cabins will be able to hold bigger families.
The two cabins will come about through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The cabins are made from hardwood cut from Ohio state forests and are assembled by state prisoners.
The partnership between the two departments began last year.
They’re called Sherman Cabins after Camp Sherman, an Ohio Army National Guard training site near a Chillicothe prison.
Kiser Lake currently has two cabins and during the summer they see turn over every week, Beaty said.
Sites 3 and 4 at the lake will be closed beginning late October or early November to begin construction.
Beaty is excited for the addition because the two cabins they currently have are a hot commodity and suggests calling to rent a cabin three to four weeks in advance because they’re so popular.
The two new Sherman Cabins are expected to be available to the public by May 2018.
The state will install the log cabins in eight other state parks — Alum Creek located in Delaware County; Barkcamp in Belmont County; Beaver Creek in Columbiana County; East Harbor in Ottawa County; Hocking Hills in Hocking County; Kelleys Island in Ottawa County; Mohican in Ashland County; and Tarr Hollow in Ross County.
Five of six Acura vehicles now call Ohio home.
Pioneer Rural Electric Cooperative has installed 380 solar panels and members have subscribed to 280 of them to date. The commitment is for an initial 5-year period with renewals available. If you are a Pioneer member and are interested in purchasing output from the panels, please contact Pioneer Electric Cooperative at 1-800-762-0997.
Students in Champaign County will have the chance to go to Clark State for free now that the community college has expanded a scholars program to the area.
Until now the Champion City Scholars program was only available to students within the Springfield City School District. Now 10 eighth graders from Graham Local Schools and 10 eighth graders from Urbana City Schools will be chosen to participate in the new Champaign County Scholars program at the beginning of next school year.
“The whole purpose is to ensure three free years of college for these students,” Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said.
The students need to be the first member of their family to attend college, she said, and qualify for free or reduced lunch to be considered.
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Today, the program has grown to 52 programs, 44 teachers, 3 administrators, 2 technology coordinators, and 1 administrative assistant who serve over 3,000 students across the district. Satellites are located within 11 of OHP’s 14 partner schools, plus an aviation program at Grimes Field in Urbana. Satellites bring career-technical education to students rather than students traveling to the Career Center in Bellefontaine.
At the request of the Champaign Economic Partnership, Honda and other manufacturers, OHP implemented high school Advanced Manufacturing programs and middle school Pre-engineering programs which was a large equipment investment for OHP.
In response to health industry needs, OHP implemented Allied Health & Nursing programs at Kenton City schools and Marysville STEM schools. Students earn their certificate and work as State Tested Nurse Assistants while in high school. Some use this program as a stepping stone to other health careers. In addition, PLTW Biomedical Sciences is offered by OHP at Graham Local schools.
Aviation Occupations students at Grimes Field are privileged to work on the Urbana B-17 Bomber Project with area volunteers while learning about aviation history and military life.
Responding to the I-70 corridor explosion and need for logistics, OHP implemented Supply Chain Management and Logistics programs at Triad Local, Marysville EV, and Graham Local schools.
Further, OHP provides Business programs at Graham Local, Riverside Local, and Indian Lake Local schools that teach students basic business, accounting, management, marketing, professional, and entrepreneurship skills. Students are using their skills to operate coffee shops at Graham Local and Triad Local schools. The satellite directors are implementing IT programs at Upper Scioto Valley Local, Kenton City, Marysville STEM, Mechanicsburg EV, and Graham Local schools. These programs teach students computer trouble-shooting/repairs, programming, and interactive media skills.
Satellite students get the opportunity to assist the technology departments, broadcast school announcements, create videos, operate a small radio station, and learn digital design.
Ohio Hi-Point Career Center is also collaborating with Clark State Community College to embed Precision Agriculture into its existing Ag Business/Production Programs at Graham Local and Triad Local schools since this pathway has not yet been developed by ODE for high schools.
Students receive academic assistance, explore careers, and participate in experiential learning opportunities through OHP Career Based Intervention programs at several locations. The job market is demanding a talented, qualified, technology proficient employee. Satellite programs help us deliver those opportunities and enhance the efforts we are making to prepare the next generation of students throughout the districts we serve.
-Dr. Rick Smith, Superintendent of Ohio Hi-Point Career Center
About Ohio Hi-Point
The Ohio Hi-Point Career Center develops our most valuable resource, people, by providing quality career-technical and academic education programs. Our High School and Satellite Divisions serve juniors and seniors from 14 partner school districts and offer more than 30 career training programs, while our Adult and Continuing Education Division has a strong focus on customized training, providing businesses the training needed to strengthen, and prosper in, the community.
The local Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) voted Thursday to recommend local governments continue with all current enterprise zone, Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) and Tax Incentive Fund (TIF) agreements.
In economically depressed areas of the city and county where business growth is encouraged, TIRC members unanimously recommended local government leaders continue their enterprise zone agreements with KTH Parts Industries, the American Pan Company and the Ultra-met Company.
Marcia Bailey, economic development director for the Champaign Economic Partnership, presided over the meeting and said the deal with KTH, 1111 N. state Route 235 in St. Paris, is a 100 percent tax abatement for 10 years that expired Dec. 31, 2016, but will continue through through the current tax collection period. The company agreed to commit at least $3.07 million in real property over the 10-year period and retain 92 jobs.
To date, Bailey said, KTH has invested $4.2 million in real property and kept the promised 92 positions.
As for taxes abated thus far as a result of the agreement, Champaign County Auditor Karen Bailey reported the total stands at $1,299,616.
Located at 417 E. Water St. in Urbana, the American Pan Company agreed to a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement (through Dec. 1, 2022) in return for the creation of 33 jobs, retention of 154 positions, and a real property investment of $1.9 million.
Marcia Bailey said the company has created 55 jobs, retained 154 and invested $1.9 million. To date, $158,729 in taxes have been abated.
Ultra-met’s enterprise zone agreement involves the company, located at 120 Fyffe St. in Urbana, receiving a 75 percent abatement for 10 years in return for investments of $510,000 in real property and $1.5 million in personal property, as well as the creation of 10 jobs and retention of 30 positions.
The company has met the requirements, having invested the pledged amounts, created 11 new jobs, and retained 30 positions.
The amount of taxes abated to date under the agreement total $27,283.
Community Reinvestment Area contracts
The three active CRA agreements – tax exemption deals benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings – currently on the books within the county received positive feedback from TIRC members, who unanimously voted to recommend the contracts remain in place.
The longest running of the three CRA agreements involves the 10-unit T-hangar at Grimes Field in Urbana. Since 2002, $78,749 in taxes have been abated in a deal in which Gerald Shiffer, the original applicant, received a 50 percent tax abatement for 15 years on the hangar in return for an investment of $325,000 in real property, the creation of one job, and the retention of another job.
Marcia Bailey said at the present date, $330,000 has been invested, one job was created, and one position retained.
A CRA agreement granting White’s Service Center, 1325 N. Main St., Urbana, a 50 percent abatement for 10 years has been on the books since 2010, but the business has yet to request the tax abatement be activated, Bailey said.
If the business were to ask for the abatement to take effect, it would need to meet its obligations. These include a $250,000 investment in real property, the creation of one job, and the retention of one job.
The most recent CRA agreement to have gone into effect involves three buildings at KTH. In return for a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years, the St.Paris-based company has committed to retain 815 employees, create 20 new jobs, and invest $6.7 million.
To date, Marcia Bailey said, the company has retained 815 jobs, created 20, and invested $6.79 million.
The amount of taxes abated since the tax exemption took effect in 2015 stands at $44,682.
During the meeting, a KTH representative reported the company, as of the end of February, employs 1,139 individuals.
Tax Incentive Fund
TIRC members unanimously agreed that a 10-year TIF agreement used by the city of Urbana to help pay for improvements on Scioto Street through 2021 should continue.
The six properties involved in the agreement have paid the following amounts into the fund since 2012 (listed by name of the business or businesses currently operating on the property): Aaron Rents ($44,199), Clark Station ($17,607), DaVita Midwest Urbana Dialysis/Mercy Memorial Wound Care Center ($44,480), McDonald’s ($48,393), Ohio Auto Loan Services ($22,814) and Family Dentistry/Wright-Patt Credit Union/Mary Rutan Hospital ($35,835).
American Pan Company
Business Community Support
Champaign County Job Board
Hughey & Phillips
Johnson Welded Products
Robert Rothschild Farm
Small Business Development
Urbana City Council
Urbana Planning Commission