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Ohio Air Quality Development Authority approves $20 million for two Northeast Ohio projects

The money will be used for air quality improvement projects in Rocky River and Akron.

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) has approved $20 million in funding for two projects in Northeast Ohio, including in one in Rocky River and one in Akron.

The funding comes via OAQDA's signature programs, the Clean Air Improvement Program and Clean Air Resource Center for small businesses. According to a release, "the combined impact from these projects is increased economic benefits through the creation or preservation of nearly 90 local jobs and a 50% reduction in tenant utility bills, improved air quality with the reduction in harmful air emissions and enhanced public health savings of up to $19,000."

“OAQDA is pleased to provide financing for these two projects that achieve positive environmental, economic and public health benefits for these Northeast Ohio communities,” Christina O’Keeffe, executive director of OAQDA, said in a statement. “We continue to experience strong demand for our financial assistance and are excited to see the positive impact of these projects, creating safer, healthier working conditions at City Cleaners in Akron and significantly lower energy bills for residents of Rocky River Hillard apartments.”

Here's how the money will be spent:

Rocky River Hillard LCC (Rocky River, Cuyahoga County)

Through the Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP), Rocky River Hillard LLC has been approved for $20 million to support the construction of a development located at 18501-18617 Hilliard Blvd. The five-story complex will offer 71 apartment units to increase the capacity for housing in the community, achieving a significant threshold of 50 percent energy savings via design and implementation of energy improvements including LED lighting, a high-efficiency HVAC system and hot water system, increased insulation, and a roof-mounted solar electricity system. 

Tenants of the building will also benefit from these improvements with a 50 percent reduction in utility bills through lower operating costs. Additionally, the project will support the creation and retention of more than 40 full-time positions.

City Cleaners (Akron, Summit County)

Through the Clean Air Resource Center (CARC), City Cleaners in Akron has been approved for $147,000 in bond financing and a grant of up to $20,000 to replace two outdated dry-cleaning machines and eliminate the use of PERC (perchloroethylene), a hazardous chemical.

Located at 1608 W. Market St., City Cleaners has been serving the Akron community for 68 years and is a fourth generation family-owned business. According to a release, the new equipment will help them comply with Ohio EPA regulations, control air pollutants and create a safer working environment for employees. It is expected that 45 full- and part-time jobs will be sustained as a result of this project.

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