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Article Originally Published: Coshocton Tribune

By Leonard L. Hayhurst | Oct. 3, 2022

The local Transportation Improvement District (TID) has completed its first project and is eyeing more for economic improvement in Coshocton County.

Tiffany Swigert, executive director of the Coshocton Port Authority, said the group formed almost three years ago to promote intergovernmental and public-private cooperation of transportation resources and investments, such as road construction or repairs.

“Roads are very underfunded. That causes difficulty with maintenance, but also difficulty with new development,” Swigert said. “The TID gives us the ability to leverage some state dollars we didn’t have before. It’s kind of our loss if we don’t do that.”

Its first project was helping to secure grant funding to assist with the construction of Genesis Drive, a connector from Airport Road to the new Genesis Coshocton Medical Center set to open in April. Coshocton County Engineer Fred Wachtel said crews were expected to finish the road by the end of last week.

The estimated $45 million Genesis project is set to add 200 jobs to the county. Swigert said those numbers were key economic factors in securing $500,000 of grant funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation, ODOT Office of Jobs and Commerce and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia for road construction. Coming off the grant are legal fees to Bricker and Eckler law firm of Columbus and $250 to help establish a checking account for the TID at Peoples Bank.

Final cost of the of roadwork hasn’t been determined, but Swigert said it’s more than the grants with the total cost of the medical center project providing required matching funds. Swigert said it’s possible for them to go back in the future and extend the road the other direction to connect with Ohio 83, but there are some property owners to be dealt with first.