ARC funding gone from budget


By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com



At a recent meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners, a discussion began surrounding a rumor that the new Trump budget called for the elimination of the funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission. Now, John Hemming of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) says the move is not just a rumor but is a fact.

In the budget titled “America First – the Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” the truth is found on page 11.

“The Budget also proposes to eliminate funding for other independent agencies, including the African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.” Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said the loss of ARC funding would have a major effect on the region because of the many programs it finances.

Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said the loss of ARC funding would have a major effect on the region because of the many programs it finances.

“Mr. Davis is correct that Scioto County has been the recipient of ARC funding for quite a few projects over the years,” Hemming said. “Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) maintains a list of those projects all the way back to the late 1960s that we have assisted Scioto County in securing. We have this same data for all of our 12 member counties.”

Support for the ARC program and its future funding was in a letter to President Trump which was sent to the U.S. Senate and signed by both Senator Rob Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown opposing the elimination of funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In the letter, the senators said ARC has investigated in 25,000 projects in Appalachia since 1965, totaling $3.8 billion. According to the letter, the investments are responsible for creating nearly 312,000 jobs and generating $10 billion in added earnings for the region.

“In addition, I was in Washington, D.C. in March and met with Representative Bill Johnson, Representative Brad Wenstrup, and Representative Steve Stivers and they indicated support of the ARC and are opposed to its elimination,” Hemming said.

Hemming said the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) is the Local Development District of the Appalachian Regional Commission for this region of the state of Ohio and is located in Waverly, Ohio. They serve as the first point of contact for accessing ARC funds for projects in this region of Ohio. OVRDC is one of 73 Local Development Districts (LDDs) designated by the ARC throughout the 13 state ARC region and Hemming currently serves as President of the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) which is the LDDs membership organization.

By Frank Lewis

flewis@civitasmedia.com

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.