DeWine Announces Transformative$154 Million Investment in Appalachian Downtowns and Destinations

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announces monies granted from the Appalachian Community Grant Program

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik today announced 30 major economic development projects in Ohio’s Appalachian region that will raise the area’s profile as a travel destination and improve quality of life for local residents.

As part of the new Appalachian Downtowns and Destinations Initiative, $154 million will be infused into communities across 12 counties to revitalize historic downtown districts, create new opportunities for recreation, and amplify the experience for those visiting the region’s cultural sites. 

“Our state’s origins are in Appalachia; it’s where our history began. But right now – this is Appalachia’s time to flourish,” said Governor DeWine. “These unprecedented investments in Appalachia will be transformative for those who live here, turning their visions for the future into reality.”  The $154 million will be used to improve infrastructure at parks, trails, and museums; support enhancements to historical native landmarks; renovate downtown spaces and main streets; and create new hubs for education, economic development, healthcare, and community engagement in areas where these opportunities have not previously existed.

“These are defining investments that will reenergize Ohio’s Appalachian communities for generations to come,” said Director Mihalik. “We are creating spaces that honor our heritage and foster connection, creativity, and community pride among everyone who lives in and visits this region.”

Funding for the Appalachian Downtowns and Destinations Initiative is being awarded through the larger Appalachian Community Grant Program, which is investing $500 million into Ohio’s 32-county Appalachian region. The DeWine-Husted Administration spearheaded this unprecedented investment with support from the Ohio General Assembly in 2022. Previously announced grant awards include $64 million to improve access to healthcare across the region through the new Appalachian Children’s Health Initiative and approximately $80 million for several  shovel-ready projects and planning grants.

Nearly $200 million in remaining Appalachian Community Grant Program funding will be announced in coming weeks. The program is administered by the Governor’s Office of Appalachia within the Ohio Department of Development.  In total, the DeWine-Husted Administration has invested approximately $2 billion in Ohio’s Appalachian counties since 2019. 

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