TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Lucas County has a big economic development project in the works but only got a fraction of the money it requested from the state to renovate the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.
County commissioners said this project will still happen and that in order to be competitive, changes need to be made to the convention center.
"Frankly, we're used to picking ourselves up and doing things on our own without the help of the state, and we've done it before we can do it again," said Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada.
The project would cost $40 million. The county asked the state for $10 million in capital funding, and instead received $500,000.
"Despite the fact that for many of our local legislators from this area this was their number one project. I'm disappointed but it doesn't derail the project," Contrada said.
Contrada said renovating the Seagate Centre is too important of a driver for downtown Toledo and the region. Contrada said the project has an $800 million economic impact over 20 years, bringing in more than 500 permanent jobs.
In addition to renovations, the project involves adding a ballroom.
"A ballroom is one of the features that we lack that other cities with convention centers have, so we're not able to be competitive as we've actually known that for quite some time," Contrada added.
The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce said the project will help keep Toledo at the forefront.
" We'll continue to work with those elite officials in Columbus to make sure that that funding remains in tact," said Brian Dicken, Vie President for Advocacy and Public Policy with the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. "I never wanna say they d ropped the ball, there's a limited amount of funding."
But Contrada said she's confident in the project and in the process moving forward.
"We hope that the state may find other funds and will reconsider," she said.