Senate-passed budget earmarks $7 million for Allen County

·2 min read

May 31—LIMA — Allen County could see $7.3 million from Ohio's capital budget for Memorial Hall, the Allen County Fairgrounds, a community pool and other local projects, according to a $3.5 billion capital budget passed by the Ohio Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate's version of the capital budget would support eight projects in Allen County. Among the highlights: $2.4 million for a community pool and $1 million for Memorial Hall.

Still, there are no set plans yet for the future of the historic property. Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan said Tuesday that the Memorial Hall funds may act as a conversation starter but are insufficient on their own to renovate the property.

The commissioners are set to vote Thursday on a contract to upgrade the roof at Memorial Hall "to ensure that the shell remains good if there's ever a need or use for that facility," Noonan said.

The Senate's version of the budget would also allocate $2.5 million toward a regional training safety program at Apollo Career Center, $370,000 toward the Allen County Fairgrounds and $800,000 toward the Lima Rotary Park & Amphitheater, the latter of which broke ground in April and should be completed by spring 2023.

"This project is not possible without the help of state dollars, and it worked out great that the two leaders in the General Assembly are from Allen County and were able to secure these dollars," said Jeff Fitzgerald, president of the Lima Rotary Club.

But local funding is subject to change as the House and Senate negotiate a final version of the capital budget, an infrastructure bill typically adopted every two years.

"Too often Ohio's smaller communities are overlooked, yet they represent the backbone of Ohio," Senate President Matt Huffman said in a press release Tuesday. "I'm proud that being from Lima, I was able to secure this key funding for community projects that our neighbors will be able to see make a difference in here at home."

Local funding breakdown:

Allen County: $7.37 million

—Apollo Regional Training Safety Program—$2.5 million

—Lima Community Pool—$2.4 million

—Allen County Memorial Hall Improvements—$1 million

—Lima Rotary Community Stage & Park—$800,000

—Allen County Fair Youth Show Arena—$310,000

—Schoonover Observatory Improvements—$250,000

—Allen County Fair Multi-Purpose Storage Building—$60,000

—Allen County Museum—$50,000

Auglaize County: $1.11 million

—St. Marys Theater and Grand Opera House—$500,000

—Cridersville/Legacy Park Shelter House—$300,000

—New Knoxville Splashpad and Shelter House—$110,000

—Armstrong Air & Space Museum—$100,000

—Wapakoneta Waterpark—$50,000

—Auglaize County Fairgrounds Piehl Family Parking Lot—$50,000

Mercer County: $500,000

—Fort Recovery Opera House

Indian Lake: $750,000