LIMA — The extra efforts required to make today a success for the State of the State and joint session of the Ohio Legislature are being funded in multiple ways, some public and some private.
Local officials believe in-kind donations and dollars raised privately to fund extra events and special touches are investments in the city’s development, short and long-term. The dollars are turning over and generating even more local economic activity in the way of catered lunches, carpet cleaning and signage. Plus, as the community welcomes hundreds, many of whom haven’t been to the city before, officials believe it’s simply the welcoming thing to do.
“It’s so important, for everyone from the time that they get here, to experience what we all know: This is a great community, a nice, friendly place filled with people who know how to be welcoming, and appreciate the fact, and this is important, that we’re only the second city to be chosen for this honor, and we want to respect that. It’s a big deal,” said Peggy Ehora, spokesperson for Dominion Energy and president of the Downtown Lima Inc. board.
The Lima/Allen Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Lima Inc. set a $30,000 budget for the event and solicited sponsorships. Some companies are large donors, Ehora said. Some companies are small businesses who contributed in other, equally appreciated ways.
“For us at Dominion, it’s the right thing to do to be a good corporate citizen. For small business owners, this is coming directly out of their pockets,” Ehora said. “The money goes right back into this community. All of that money is being spent in the community.”
State government functions are being funded by state government, said Jed Metzger, president and CEO of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.
“But anything else, you have to do it yourself. We wanted to focus on hospitality, making sure that people have a quality experience, and making sure that people remember Lima/Allen County,” Metzger said. “And we want to show people that we know how to work well together, because not every community has that.”
Here is the list of companies who contributed to that effort: Century Link, Dominion, Lima Energy, Lima Memorial Health System, Perry proTech, St. Rita’s Medical Center, Spherion of Lima Inc., Superior Federal Credit Union, Husky Lima Energy, Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships, Wannemacher Total Logistics and Time Warner Cable.
Here is the list of companies providing in-kind sponsorship: The Cheap Sign Company/American Billboard Advertising, I Do Windows! LLC, Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s Restaurants, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Longmeier Printing and Advertising, MODO Media, Quick as A Wink, Regional Transit Authority, Rudolph Foods, Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn, The Lima News, Master Maintenance, Meeting Place on Market and Your Hometown Lima Stations.
Here is the list of what the chamber calls “event partners,” who provided support of some fashion: Allen County Commissioners, Allen County Regional Transit Authority, Allen County Visionaries, Allen Economic Development Group, City of Lima, Downtown Lima, Inc., Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Lima-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center/Civic Center Foundation.
There are costs taxpayers are bearing that have yet to be tallied. Here is a list of some of those expenses: The state is renting the Civic Center. There are costs associated with transporting and providing security for Gov. John Kasich outside of the capital. The Legislature is paying for its members to park in parking lots. The Lima Police Department and Allen County Sheriff’s Office are paying officers overtime for security details.