Director's Corner

 

Spring is finally upon us and it has never before been met with such excitement, hope and anticipation. As progress continues to be made on the pandemic and vaccines roll out, there is a growing desire to seek out each other and find that balance in our lives. I encourage all of you to take time to go out, enjoy the sunshine and breathe in that fresh, springtime air!

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of OAQDA in 2021, we are taking time ourselves to reflect upon our impact through the years. In recent years, active projects approved by the Authority have helped to sustain nearly 7,000 Ohio jobs and will create more than 780 jobs. Our financing has helped replace dozens of dry-cleaning machines that used perchloroethylene, a known carcinogen, and environmentally-friendly paint booths that reduce harmful air emissions. These results demonstrate positive economic benefits, improved air quality and better health conditions for employees and customers. 

OAQDA continues to support many significant projects in 2021 that protects air quality and can help Ohio rebound from this challenging past year. A few notable projects recently approved by Authority Members is from Aurora Solar for their $70 million utility-scale solar facility in Van Wert County, and Cargill Inc for their $75 million recycling facility of soybean waste in Shelby County. These projects create jobs, provide significant benefits to the environment, and are supported by local county, city and school officials. 

In addition, we continue to assist Ohio small businesses as they work to reduce their environmental footprint and create critical jobs in our communities. One such business we recently approved for funding is Frank’s Auto Body and Restoration, which is in the process of expanding its operations in Lake County. OAQDA was happy to support this growing business as it replaces outdated equipment and installs environmentally friendly spray booths and a paint mixing room to reduce toxic emissions and safeguard employee health.   

Ohio is ripe with opportunities for businesses like Frank’s as well as other larger air quality projects. As businesses explore OAQDA’s financing for their projects, we’re excited to engage in these discussions and share information on our Clean Air Improvement Program or Clean Air Resource Center. Please reach out to learn more!

I hope you enjoy this issue of Air Focus and I look forward to sharing more good news with you throughout this momentous year. 


Christina O’Keeffe
Executive Director

 

OAQDA Marks 50 Years

This year, OAQDA celebrates five decades of service to Ohio communities and is taking time to recognize all the notable achievements made along the way that, together, have moved the needle to improve air quality, while supporting the Ohio economy.

Specifically, just in the last six years, OAQDA’s active projects have help create and sustain nearly 7,000 jobs for Ohioans. The Authority’s active projects have been awarded more than $1.5 million in grants and received over $1.4 billion in air quality revenue bond issuance.

Year after year, the Authority’s robust portfolio includes many prominent projects, both large and small, that have made a real impact in Ohio communities. OAQDA is proud to continue to support these businesses while ensuring a healthier future for all Ohioans.

Help mark this important milestone! Follow OAQDA on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. Share your thoughts about what this work means for Ohio. Post a project picture funded through OAQDA or simply share a message of thanks to the team. Please use the hashtags #OAQDA #Cheersto50Years.

Cheers to the next 50 years!

 

New Project Announcements

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

Aurora Solar LLC - Great Bear Solar Plant (Van Wert County) – The Authority approved up to $70 million in bond financing to assist Aurora Solar with the installation of a large solar electric system in Union Township. The 46 MW renewable solar energy generation facility will be developed on 400 acres of leased agricultural land. The project consists of 146,300 solar modules and is estimated to produce 103,526,064 kWh of power per year. The project will promote the reduction of emissions of air contaminants through the generation of clean, solar energy and will provide local revenue to communities. 

Cargill Incorporated (Shelby County) – The Authority approved up to $75 million in bond financing to process and recycle soybean waste as part of Cargill’s expansion project in Sidney to increase its soybean production. The company is investing $235 million into the plant expansion, which is estimated to create 12 new jobs and retain nearly 300 existing positions. The financing will support the facilities and equipment needed to process soybeans as well as the development of a solid waste disposal facility to turn waste byproducts into cattle feed, which would otherwise be sent to a landfill. The solid waste reduction is estimated at 1.6 million tons per year. The project also will reduce air emissions, including volatile organic compounds and soybean particles that will be recycled through the feed process. 

Stoneridge Investment (Franklin County) – The Authority approved up to $915,000 in bond financing to assist Stoneridge Investment, LLC with its air quality facility project. The 50,020 square-foot development, located at 4015-4059 Dublin Granville Rd. in Dublin, Ohio, is a medical services office building renovation that will include several energy improvements, including upgrades to the HVAC and LED lighting system retrofits as well as the addition of a solar electric system. Improvements are estimated to save approximately 148,000 kWh of energy and $13,000 per year while  eliminating over 293,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. 

The Hospitality Group-Worthington Portfolio (Franklin County) – The Authority approved up to $1.9 million to The Hospitality Group, a full-service hotel management company, for the renovation of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at 7411 Vantage Drive in Worthington. The project includes updates to the roof including a membrane and reflective shingles, as well as building envelope improvements. In addition, the company will replace several HVAC units, install an HVAC control system, replace outdated laundry equipment, upgrade lighting fixtures and other electronics. The project will reduce air emissions and support significant energy savings of more than 25 percent annually.

Fashion & Vanity Cleaners, Inc. (Fairfield County) – The Authority approved up to $200,000 in bond financing and a $20,000 grant to support Fashion & Vanity Cleaners, Inc. located in Lancaster, Ohio. The full-service dry-cleaning and alterations business will replace old equipment with new machinery that utilizes the latest hydrocarbon cleaning technology and biodegradable materials, eliminating harmful compounds typically used in chemical dry cleaning. The new, environmentally friendly updates are part of the company’s ongoing sustainability commitments and support its expansion plans as the business relocates to a larger, 6,000-square-foot space. 

Frank’s Auto Body and Restoration Inc. (Lake County) - The Authority approved up to $340,000 in bond financing to support Frank’s Auto Body and Restoration with its air quality improvement project. This company also will receive a grant totaling up to $20,000. Frank’s is an auto body repair facility focusing on collision repair and restoration of antique and muscle cars as well as some commercial vehicles. The company is moving operations to 7277 North Ridge Road in Madison and, in the process, will replace old, inefficient equipment. The upgrades include the installation of two down draft spray booths as well as a paint mixing room.  

 

CAIP Pilot Period Extended


At the March meeting, the Authority Members voted to approve an extension to the Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP) pilot period, allowing stakeholders to provide additional feedback on the new program guidelines. The CAIP guidelines are now available for review and comment through December 31, 2021. The Authority welcomes all comments as the team continues to work with applicants, borrowers and stakeholders on implementing the program. To submit comments, please send an email at info@aqda.state.oh.us.
 

Did You See the News?

OAQDA is committed to reaching more Ohio communities and businesses to provide financial support for projects that improve air quality and help Ohio’s economy thrive.  Below is some of the recent coverage on approved projects that are worth the read:

OAQDA approves funds for Cargill project - Sidney Daily News

Baker’s Collision recognized for environmental-friendly actions over years | Business News | richlandsource.com

Local dry cleaning business to receive state funds for new machinery (lancastereaglegazette.com)

Be sure to stay up to date with OAQDA happenings by following us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.