L&L Review: Funding for Green Projects

On October 23rd, we heard very informative news from Project Funding at the Lunch and Leaders meeting. Patty Huddle, Vice President of Existing Business Services for Columbus 2020; and David Hull, Assistant Director for the City of Columbus Department of Development presented. Columbus 2020 is one of six organizations contracted by the State of Ohio for the purpose of facilitating funding for a developer or business working on a project in the central Ohio region. Their goal is to net 150,000 jobs and $8 billion dollars and increase per capita spending by 2020. They intend to do this by improving infrastructure, meeting the workforce challenge, and increasing the following: manufacturing competitiveness, high growth opportunities, global trade and investment. They are here at no expense to help business owners locate whatever funding might be available for their projects and to help obtain Jobs Ohio funding. Each county has different resources for LEED projects and different tools available. In Franklin County the Columbus- Franklin Finance Authority is managed by Jean C. Ryan. Other sources for funding include SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Columbus); Clean Ohio programs, a Jobs Revitalization program for blighted projects that may provide Phase II DSA funding for vacant buildings; OEPA funding programs with assistance from Laura Stephenson of the Treasurer’s Office, City of Columbus and Re-Energize Ohio; and tax credits and green energy funds; to name just a few. To learn more about funding opportunities presented by Patty Huddle and Matt McCollister of Columbus 2020 as well as obtain assistance completing incentive letters to Jobs Ohio, contact Columbus 2020 at 614.225.6063 or visit their website at http://columbusregion.com. David Hull, Assistant Director of Development, City of Columbus provided an overview of The Green Columbus Fund, a reimbursement grant program for LEED projects started in 2011. It provides $1 million dollars annually to be distributed to private and non-profit developers building Brownfield and LEED projects. It will reimburse the grant winner for Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment costs, asbestos surveys and abatements, and physical Phase II corrective actions. It builds on Clean Ohio and successive State of Ohio programs. In order to qualify for LEED dollars, the project must be LEED for New Construction, Core and Shell, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings, or Operation and Maintenance (EB; OEM). The program reimburses the application fee charged by GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) and performance incentive boosts for LEED Gold (150%) and LEED Platinum (200%). In addition to this reimbursement application, applicants can increase their grant award through meeting the criteria set by the City of Columbus. .At the outset of the project it must be discussed with the City, submitted for review and approval by the Department of Development, and then submitted to the City Council for ordinance approval.