County to get #036;210,000 in tobacco settlement money

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2003

Lawrence County has 210,000 reasons to celebrate.

The county has been granted $210,000 in tobacco settlement money, Peggy Reynolds of the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District said.

The Lawrence County Economic Development Review Committee is now accepting applications for grants of up to 50 percent of a total project cost for a project that will create, retain or expand job opportunities for residents. Priority will be given to agribusiness and agri-industry-related projects.

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This settlement money is not just for tobacco farmers, Reynolds said. Anyone in the county, which includes individuals, private sector businesses and industries, municipalities, and even the county, can apply.

The committee consists of Lawrence County Commiss-ioner Jason Stephens, park board president Richard Meyers, Rod Depriest of National City Bank, Patricia Clonch, executive director of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, and Bob Day, chairman of the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District with Reynolds as his assistant. Stephens is the chairman.

The Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) requires private sector projects to include a business plan that includes the following: an executive summary highlighting key elements of the entire plan, a company description, products, a marketing plan, an operational plan, management and organization, capitalization and structure which would identify a legal form for the organization and describe financing already in place, and financial plans.

For the public sector, application requirements include a project description; the project's location and service area; project impact, which would include the number of jobs created or retained and expected benefits to be derived; probability of success; and a detailed budget.

All applicants must also prove that they are able to get at least 50 percent of the needed funding for the project, Reynolds said.

Projects will be later scored by a number of factors that include job creation and job retention. The more jobs likely to be created, the higher the employee wages, among other factors, the more points a project gets.

Reynolds said the committee will review all applications and score them. The SOACDF will make the final decisions.

Applications and lists of guidelines can be picked up at the Lawrence County Commissioners' Office, the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District Office, or at the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation office.

The grant application deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the commissioners' office.