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Ohio gives $1M to build roads at Dana center

The Lucas County commissioners accepted a $1 million grant yesterday from the state of Ohio to help build roads near the $39 million technical center the Dana Corp. will construct in Monclova Township.

The roads project, expected to cost $6 million, is part of an incentive package used to help lure the technical center to 30 acres of Toledo-owned land near U.S. 23/I-475 and Maumee-Western Road, Sandy Isenberg, president of the commissioners, said.

“It's a public-private partnership that has been successful on projects like this. I think that's what makes good government work,” she said. “The state is being very generous.”

The construction will include turn lanes and a new signal on U.S. 20A at Briarfield Boulevard; a 2,900-foot, three-lane road called Technology Drive; and a 3,200-foot, four-lane extension of Jerome Road north of Monclova Road.

Most of the road improvements costs are being assessed to the City of Toledo, which will then assess fees to future purchasers of the city-owned land in the area, said John Crandall, director of operations for the Lucas County Engineer's Office.

The county is obligated to pay $200,000 and has agreed to apply for a $1 million grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, Mr. Crandall said.

The improvements to U.S. 20A and construction of Technology Drive are expected to be completed by the middle of next year, Mr. Crandall said. The Jerome Road extension should be finished in 2005, he said.

The Dana facility, called the Automotive Systems Group Technology Center, will include 90,000 square feet of design and development space and 80,000 square feet for offices and potential expansion. Dana hopes to move employees in next year.

The center will house 450 workers. About 275 engineers and others employees are to be transferred from a Fort Wayne, Ind., technology center, and the rest are to move from a Dana center in Springfield Township.

Ms. Isenberg said new people moving into the area with high-paying jobs will help boost the county's sales tax.

“It's people spending money in Lucas County and not someplace like Wood County,” Ms. Isenberg said. “They'll buy items, and that will help the economy.”

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