A Dayton-area municipality looks to continue chipping away at a major destination project. Once completed, the project would bring hundreds of jobs to the region and attract more than 100,000 visitors.
The city of West Carrollton is making headway on its river district and whitewater park project, seeking funding for a $15 million phase two.
Joe Tuss, an economic development consultant at JT Development Consulting, said the project will create a one-of-a-kind amenity on the Great Miami Riverway that will be a catalyst and community centerpiece for a $70-plus million mixed-use development by Woodard Development along the Great Miami River at the I-75 West Carrollton interchange. Development will create up to 500 new jobs and $10 million in new payroll.
Development includes roadway upgrades, utility relocation, bikeway and pedestrian improvements and a one-of-a-kind whitewater park with a competition wave surfing feature along the Great Miami River in West Carrollton. A market analysis concluded that the West Carrollton Whitewater Park can attract over 100,000 visitors annually.
“The overall development will enable the Dayton Region to compete to host whitewater competitions and events, bringing out-of-town and out-of-state visitors to West Carrollton and the Dayton Region,” Tuss said. “Riverfront amenities are proven catalysts for development, and this project is essential to drive the reinvestment and revitalization of the riverfront of the City of West Carrollton.”
In addition, the project will provide safety enhancements to the South Montgomery Dam and re-establish a small craft dock and marina area that will benefit the general boating public that uses this segment of the river for recreational boating, floating and paddling
“This project represents a unified vision of the West Carrollton City Council, to redevelop the I-75/Exit 47 interchange into a vibrant destination location,” said Jeffrey Sanner, mayor for the City of West Carrollton.
Tuss said design for the development infrastructure and whitewater park is funded, underway and scheduled to be completed by the end of the second quarter 2024. The city is also on pace to begin improvements to the low-head dam during the 2025 construction season.
The city of West Carrolton is applying to fund $7 million of the $15 million project through the Dayton Regional Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC). Funding would be used for construction or capital to be used in the next six to 12 months. PDAC, which is staffed by the Dayton Development Coalition, allows the community to set priorities when seeking funding from state and federal sources.
The PDAC’s public comment phase ended Nov. 15, 2023. The process allows community members to evaluate projects and establish a list of regional priorities. All submissions are evaluated by one of five review panels, which submit their recommendations to the full committee for final consideration.
The remaining $8 million in funding was committed by the city of West Carrollton, HUD-EDI grant, Montgomery County and State of Ohio. The project would create up to 500 new jobs with annual salaries between $25,000 and $50,000.