Home News Governor DeWine Unveils $154 Million Investment to Revitalize Ross County and Other...

Governor DeWine Unveils $154 Million Investment to Revitalize Ross County and Other Southern Ohio Communites


Chillicothe, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine, alongside key officials and local representatives, announced a groundbreaking $154 million investment aimed at revitalizing downtowns and cultural destinations across Ross County and 11 other Appalachian counties.

Speaking at the Ohio Appalachian Community Grant Awards ceremony, Governor DeWine underscored the significance of the investment in driving economic growth and promoting tourism in the region. The event, held at the Yocatangee Park in Chillicothe, marked a pivotal moment in the state’s ongoing efforts to support Appalachian communities.

“We’re here today to celebrate a bold vision for the future of Ross County and Appalachian Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “This investment represents a commitment to rebuilding our Appalachian economies, redeveloping our downtowns, and reigniting the pioneer spirit of those who helped build our great state.”

The ceremony highlighted the allocation of $35 million to the Park Riverside District Project in Ross County. This transformative initiative aims to enhance the community’s historical and cultural offerings, including the construction of a new amphitheater and the expansion of the nearby Mighty Children’s Museum.

In addition to the Riverside District Project, Governor DeWine announced over $2.5 million in funding to enhance visitor experiences at Ross County’s renowned earthworks sites, including Mound City and the Hopewell Mound Group. These improvements will include the construction of new restrooms, parking enhancements, and accessibility upgrades to accommodate the growing number of visitors to these historic landmarks.

The governor also highlighted the broader impact of the investment, which extends beyond Ross County to include revitalization projects in 11 other Appalachian counties. These projects, totaling $154 million, aim to attract visitors, promote recreational opportunities, and showcase the natural beauty of the region.

Among the attendees were State Representative Mark Johnson and local officials who played a pivotal role in advancing the grant awards. Their enthusiasm and commitment were instrumental in realizing this ambitious initiative.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us continue to work hand in hand toward a brighter future for Ross County and Appalachian Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “This investment represents a testament to our collective resolve to build thriving communities and preserve the rich heritage of our Appalachian region.”

The Ohio Appalachian Community Grant Awards underscored the state’s commitment to supporting economic development and revitalization efforts in Appalachian Ohio. With additional announcements planned for the future, Governor DeWine reaffirmed his administration’s dedication to fostering growth and prosperity across the region.

The $154 million will be used to improve infrastructure at parks, trails, and museums; support enhancements to historical native landmarks; renovate downtown spaces and main streets; and create new hubs for education, economic development, healthcare, and community engagement in areas where these opportunities have not previously existed.

“These investments aim to enhance growth and quality of life in Ohio’s Appalachian communities,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “We hope to highlight the region’s amazing offerings and develop new sites that benefit residents and attract visitors for years to come.”

Among the historical sites that will undergo enhancements include the historic Monroe Theater in Woodsfield, the Black Horse Inn Underground Railroad Museum in Morristown, the Serpent Mound in Adams County, and Ross County’s four Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks sites, which are included in Ohio’s first UNESCO World Heritage listing.

Logan, Georgetown, Jackson, and Chauncey are among the communities whose downtown districts will be revitalized.

“These are defining investments that will reenergize Ohio’s Appalachian communities for generations to come,” said Director Mihalik. “We are creating spaces that honor our heritage and foster connection, creativity, and community pride among everyone who lives in and visits this region.”

Funding for the Appalachian Downtowns and Destinations Initiative is being awarded through the larger Appalachian Community Grant Program, which is investing $500 million into Ohio’s 32-county Appalachian region. The DeWine-Husted Administration spearheaded this unprecedented investment with support from the Ohio General Assembly in 2022.

Previously announced grant awards include $64 million to improve access to healthcare across the region through the new Appalachian Children’s Health Initiative and approximately $80 million for several shovel-ready projects and planning grants