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Published: Monday, February 18, 2019 @ 1:22 PM
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2019 @ 1:22 PM
TROY — A new nonprofit Troy Reinvestment Fund is designed to provide gap funding, loans and other assistance to individuals, businesses and organizations seeking to preserve and enhance the community’s economic viability.
The TRF, which is in the final steps of formation, would get its money from foundation grants, individuals, businesses and other entities.
Initial funding for the TRF was approved by The Troy Foundation board, which approved $1 million, contingent on finalization of its nonprofit designation.
“We have committed $1 million out of our unrestricted assets as a gift to initially fund the Troy Reinvestment Fund. We are going to use that as a challenge to others in the community whether individuals, or developers or other corporations that feel these type of economic development projects that can be served under the TRF fund can help enhance the community and bring in business for them as existing businesses,” said Melissa Kleptz, executive director of The Troy Foundation.
The TRF structure has been approved by the state and the organization is waiting for final 501(c)(3) nonprofit approval from the Internal Revenue Service. The incorporators are local residents Mike Twiss, Mike Earhart and Doug Lins.
The TRF’s support of a project – whether a building reuse effort or a workforce development program – could be the difference between the concept happening or not happening, Kleptz said. The program would be available in the downtown and beyond, depending on the project, Twiss said.
“The goal is to help incentivize and bridge the gaps between projects that might otherwise be deemed economically unfeasible. This would be another gap financing option to city revolving loan funds and other (financing) options,” he said.
Research into the reinvestment fund concept has been underway for around three years, including visits to other communities where other such funds are at work and making a difference, Twiss and Kleptz said in discussing the fund.
The nonprofit economic development tool is not a new concept, they said, pointing to similar organizations in Piqua, Springfield, Dayton, Hamilton and other communities. Cities often are partners in collaborative efforts.
The TRF was discussed last week during a meeting of a Troy City Council committee asked to approve the appointment of the holders of two city positions – auditor and service and safety director – to the fund’s board. The city has not committed any funds to the TRF effort at this point.