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Port authority urged to help tech alliance

Getting $200,000 in donations from local companies is too little for the nascent Regional Technology Alliance's budget as it tries to encourage high-tech business development in northwest Ohio, says the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's leader.

The port authority should help Toledo's Regional Growth Partnership raise $1 million for itself and the technology alliance from the private sector, J. Patrick Nicholson, port authority chairman, told fellow technology alliance directors at a meeting yesterday. He said he would bring up the proposed effort at a port authority meeting Thursday.

“There's just an awful lot that needs to get done,” Mr. Nicholson said. He also is chairman and chief executive of Toledo's N-Viro International Corp.

For next year, the Regional Technology Alliance will receive $200,000 from companies through membership dues and $160,000 in in-kind contributions such as administrative support from the Regional Growth Partnership. It expects to have the same amount in expenses, including $132,000 in salaries and benefits for a soon-to-be chosen director and a half-time assistant.

More private sector money will be welcome, especially when the technology alliance has to compete with similar agencies for state funds, said Donald Jakeway, president and chief executive of the Regional Growth Partnership.

Gov. Robert Taft said last week he would like to designate $50 million for technology-related initiatives, Mr. Jakeway said.

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