ZANESVILLE, Ohio, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Finance Fund has awarded more than $13 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) loans to make the Zanesville community's long-held dream of opening the Muskingum Recreation Center a reality.
The $10.5 million federal and $2.6 million state NMTC loans supplement funds raised through a community capital campaign to meet the projected $10.8 million cost of the new 72,000 sq. ft. aquatic and gym facility located on Ohio University's Zanesville campus.
"Partner collaboration has been essential to bringing the project to this important juncture. We are grateful to Finance Fund for providing the financing," said Beth Chapman, Muskingum Recreation Center executive director, at today's ceremonial groundbreaking which kicks off the 14- to 16-month construction process. Muskingum Recreation Center partners project that the center will be financially self-sustaining in its first year of operation and that the loan will be repaid through the facility's operating revenue.
In addressing community leaders and residents gathered for the groundbreaking, Finance Fund Chief Program Officer Moniqua Spencer said, "This project is catalytic. Not only will it improve the quality of life and fitness for area residents, it will have a positive economic impact. It will create or retain 45 jobs, increase property values and attract new business, industry and visitors to the area."
The project also points to the importance of renewing the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program that is currently under review in Congress. "Without the financial incentives provided to lenders through this highly effective program, many economic development projects would not get under way," Spencer said.
The Zanesville/Muskingum County community has not had a public/community indoor pool or recreation facility since the YMCA, located in downtown Zanesville, was demolished 30 years ago. Research shows that many swimmers and swim teams are traveling to neighboring counties to utilize similar amenities. The new Aquatic/Fitness Center will keep those dollars in the community.
The Muskingum Recreation Center is a collaborative project with Genesis HealthCare System, Ohio University-Zanesville, the Muskingum Y and the Muskingum County Community Foundation. The community capital campaign continues to collect new pledges to provide amenities such as gymnasium renovation, racquetball courts, and an on-deck whirlpool.
About the Muskingum Recreation Center Partnership (MuskingumRecreationCenter.org)
The Muskingum Recreation Center (MRC) is a non-profit corporation organized in June of 2009. The four entities that came together to form this partnership, the Muskingum County Community Foundation (MCCF), the Muskingum Family Y (MFY), Genesis HealthCare System and Ohio University Zanesville (OUZ), have a long history of service to Muskingum County and its residents. Over the past three years, the partners developed a business plan for a 100 % self-sustaining Aquatic/Recreation Center. Additionally, focus groups and community surveys were conducted to ensure that once it is completed, the facility will meet the expectations of those it will serve.
About Finance Fund (FinanceFund.org)
Finance Fund is a statewide financial nonprofit that connects community redevelopment projects in underserved markets with public and private sources of capital. In 2012, Finance Fund celebrates its 25th anniversary as a partner in community empowerment. Since 1987, Finance Fund and its affiliates have invested more than $195.5MM in housing, economic development, and community facility projects leveraging over $1B. These investments were accomplished through 2,688 awards to community-based organizations throughout the state. Partnerships enabled the development of 15,439 units of affordable housing, 16,728 direct jobs, and 3,036 early care and education classrooms for 69,497 children benefiting the lives of more than 125,000 Ohioans.
About New Markets Tax Credits (www.cdfifund.gov)
The NMTC program, established by Congress in December 2000, permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in investment vehicles known as Community Development Entities (CDEs). The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. CDEs must apply to the Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) to compete for this allocation authority.
SOURCE Finance Fund