AirFocus Fall 2020 Newsletter

Director's Corner

Hello –

I hope you and yours remain safe and healthy. Our team at the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) continues to work remotely and plans to do so into next year. The pandemic has proven to be challenging to so many, but fortunately it has not impacted our ability to support Ohio businesses that are seeking financing options to support projects that improve air quality and create economic opportunities in our state. In fact, it has only strengthened our resolve to help as many businesses as possible.
In this fall issue of Air Focus, we have important information about our new Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP), which launched in August and is proving to be a useful tool for many businesses and communities working toward environmental and economic goals. Also featured in the newsletter are the latest clean air projects we are supporting.
I am excited to introduce you to our newest Authority member, Cara Dingus Brook, who was recently appointed by Governor Mike DeWine. She is the current president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, and we are thrilled that she will be lending her expertise to the board.
I also wanted to inform you that I am currently out on leave welcoming the newest member of the O’Keeffe family. I plan to return in January. While I am out of the office, OAQDA’s Brooke Grant, Manager of Planning and Projects, is serving as interim executive director. I am grateful for her dedication to our mission and willingness to step into this role. Feel free to reach out to the OAQDA team should you need anything over the coming weeks at
I look forward to returning soon and reconnecting with you. Until then, be well and stay safe.

Christina O’Keeffe
Executive Director



Clean Air Improvement Program Update

As a reminder, OAQDA recently launched our new Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP), which is now available to businesses, developers, utilities and institutions of all sizes. The program supports air quality facility improvements statewide through its bond financing and related tax exemptions, including sales and use, real property, and bond interest income. These guidelines are released as part of a pilot period that is open to public comment and feedback. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Authority at

The Authority recently approved updates to the fee schedule for CAIP that will take effect on January 1, 2021. These changes support the required services of the program and allow CAIP to remain competitive with similar issuers in Ohio and nationally. Changes include the following: 

•    Addition of a non-refundable $2,500 application fee
•    Taxable projects will no longer receive a 50% reduction in the one-time issuance fee 
•    Addition of an ongoing administrative fee equal to 10 basis points (0.10%) based on the outstanding par amount of the bond
•    Maintaining the waivable non-performance fee for projects based upon their annual performance to serve as an air quality facility in Ohio
Full details of the pending changes can be found on the website. For questions on the fee schedule changes, or if you have a project you think could benefit from CAIP, please reach out to the OAQDA team at


Meet New Authority Member Cara Dingus Brook

At the September Authority meeting, OAQDA welcomed its newest board member, Cara Dingus Brook, who was recently appointed by Governor Mike DeWine and is the president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
Brook has helped the Foundation raise close to $100 million in new philanthropic donations and bequests benefitting Appalachian Ohio. Prior to joining the Foundation, Brook served as the southeast Ohio district representative for U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich.
"I am excited to welcome our newest Authority member who has made incredible public service contributions to Appalachian Ohio over the years,” said Jim Simon, chairman, OAQDA. “Our team looks forward to working with her to continue to improve air quality in Appalachia and in every corner of the state.”
Learn more about Cara Dingus Brook here.

Project Spotlight: ROTO

OAQDA recently partnered with Roto in Dublin, Ohio to provide small business assistance through our Clean Air Resource Center by providing cost-effective financing and a grant to help them install a new paint booth.  The museum exhibit design and production company was able to expand their capabilities to serve more customers, while reducing toxic air emissions and creating a safer environment for employees with the help of OAQDA’s funding.
Check out this brief video to learn more –


New Project Announcements

The following new projects have recently been approved by the Authority –

Gault’s Plaza Cleaners & Laundromat (Knox County) is a third-generation, family owned dry cleaner and laundromat in Mount Vernon, Ohio. OAQDA has approved up to $85,210 in funding for the purchase of new dry-cleaning equipment that will replace outdated machines and will eliminate the use of perchloroethylene (PERC), a known carcinogen.

G&M Motors (Summit County) located in Twinsburg, Ohio, is a used car dealership that is expanding its business to include an autobody repair shop. OAQDA has approved $99,700 in financing and a grant for up to $19,940 for the installation of a down draft spray booth and mixing room for the new repair shop. The expansion will create five new full-time positions.

LaFrance Cleaners (Mahoning County) is a third-generation dry-cleaning business in Youngstown, Ohio, with a central production facility, two stores and seven pick-up and delivery routes. The Authority has approved financing for up to $100,000 and a grant for up to $20,000 in funding to replace aging dry-cleaning equipment, which will eliminate the use of PERC and will allow for the use of more environmentally friendly solvents.

QT Equipment Company (Summit County) is an Akron, Ohio-based business specializing in servicing and building field service trucks for construction companies, equipment dealers, mining companies, utility companies, municipalities and independent mechanics. The Authority granted up to $337,360 in funding for QT Equipment’s expansion, which will include the installation of two down draft spray paint booths. The expansion will create 15 skilled labor jobs in the Akron area.

The below map highlights all approved projects to date in 2020 -


Did you Know?

Did you know we can help Ohio small businesses pay to install equipment that will reduce pollution emissions through our tax exemptions? Learn more about how we are supporting Ohio economic development through our Clean Air Resource Center program by visiting our website.

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