SOPA passes JEDISO funds

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) will be distributing funds from the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio (JEDISO) temporarily.

Jason Kester, director of SOPA told the board this week that SOPA will now be the pass-through for JEDISO funds. Kester said Ross County was handling the, but due to the retirement of Chris Manegold, SOPA has been bumped up to the lead this month. Fluor-BWXT is in the process of issuing the first quarter installment of $108,585 to the four-county region.

“Once we receive that check, we’ll need to make a distribution to the other three counties and the two companies who were awarded grants in the first quarter of 2017,” Kester said.

The following distributions of the quarterly installment payment will be as follows: SOPA: $12,500 (to be applied to the Alexandria Point Special Projects fund per the approved SOPA budget); Pike County ECD: $12,500; EDASO (Ross County): $12,500; Jackson County Economic Development Partnership: $12,500; Federal Supply: $18,585 and $40,000 to Synergy Management.

Are the funds in JEDISO earmarked?

“Yes, the funds are already earmarked,” Kester told the Daily Times. “The four-county economic development directors meet and agree on an expenditure, then we present our recommendation to the Fluor-BWXT steering group, then they approve the expenditure. Once that happens Fluor-BWXT issues SOPA a check which we then pass on to the approved recipient. SOPA is just acting as a pass through until JEDISO’s 501(c)(3) is established.”

Kester elaborated on other funds SOPA is involved with.

“We’re also working as the fiscal agent for the new multi-county Tri-State marketing initiative and may have a pass through expenditure for them as well to design a website,” Kester said. “In that instance, the Tri-State economic development directors, in coordination with AEP, make the decisions in a similar format to Fluor-BWXT.”

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

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

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