Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis said incredible things are ahead for the county thanks to the state’s $500 million investment in Appalachian Counties.
County Commission candidate Josh Lawson asked for an update on what was happening with funds during Thursday’s County Commissioners Meeting, and Davis was elated to answer.
He seemed barely able to contain his excitement as he said. “I can’t go into details, but I’m so excited. I’ve never seen anything like this!”
Davis has just returned from a symposium at Southern State Community College with Senator Terry Johnson and representatives from four other local counties.
There are $500 million in funds available. “That’s gonna pit 33 counties against each other,” Davis said. “It looks grim, but it’s not. We’re supposed to collaborate together on generational life-changing programs.”
Davis said he and Portsmouth City Manager Sam Sutherland are bursting with ideas on how to spend the money and were excited to be able to discuss ideas with other people from the region. “We got into the weeds yesterday and started talking about the nitty gritty. We got to hear details as to what other people are doing and talked about current initiatives.”
Davis said they shared details of the SOAR Business Park, Portsmouth City Building Project, and Market Square redevelopment with the group.
He said the plans will require a lot of collaboration between the county, Portsmouth, and the townships.
Davis said there are plans for bike trails to connect the counties and more development for rails to trails. Also on the table is a water taxi from Shawnee Marina to Downtown Portsmouth. Big plans to develop Portsmouth’s waterfront as a tourist destination are also on the table. Davis said he was tired of hearing that boats are passing by Portsmouth. “I want them to stop.”
But it’s not all about recreation, Davis said there are major healthcare initiatives in the works. Davis said it was too early to go into detail as they don’t have complete guidelines from the state yet as to how collaborative plans need to be put together. “We want to dig into more details before we start telling people.”