Duke Energy still raising your rates, but still has money for new grants

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Duke Energy awards more than $300,000 in local grants;
still asking for big rate increase

While it intends to raise rates 17.4%, it's still giving away money, even to for-profit companies

Covington ceremonial mayor Joe Meyer attended Duke Energy's grant announcement. The company still plans to raise residential rates by 17.4%. Meyer has not taken a position for or against the rate increase

Since 2011, Duke Energy has provided $1.88 million in Urban Revitalization funding to 58 projects in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Projects include Braxton Brewing Company, Madcap Puppet Theater, Carabello Coffee, Cincinnati State's Middletown campus and Gateway Community & Technical College's Urban Metro campus.

Last week, the company announced 10 projects in metro Cincinnati that will receive $307,352 in catalyst grants to support urban redevelopment and stimulate growth, job creation and further investments in our local communities.

On the Kentucky side, the recipients are:

  • $51,300 for Sixth and Vine project in Dayton

    The Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky will use an Urban Revitalization grant toward the conversion of a historic building at Sixth Avenue and Vine Street in Dayton, Ky., from residential back to mixed use.

    Once the renovation is complete, the building will house a coffee shop and event space, and will be used by nearby artists collective The Lodge for added capacity for its existing events.

    In addition to repurposing the property, the Catalytic Fund hopes the work encourages surrounding property owners to invest in their own properties, too.

  • Assistance: $50,000 for Road ID headquarters in Covington, a for-profit business

    A former self-storage building at Eighth and Washington streets in Covington will be remade into the headquarters of Road ID a local, family-owned business that manufactures custom products to help first responders identify people in case of an emergency.

    Once renovations are complete, the building will house Road ID's office, manufacturing, assembly and warehousing space.

    And, in addition to the company's 42 full-time and 60 part-time and seasonal employees, Road ID expects to hire 30 full-time and 30 part-time employees over the next five years.

  • Assistance: $18,200 for Newport Food Port in Newport

    Incubator Kitchen Collective (IKC) is a nonprofit in Newport that helps Greater Cincinnati food entrepreneurs and startups overcome barriers that can prevent local food businesses from getting off the ground.

    IKC has helped more than 50 small businesses grow and realize their potential. The Catalytic Fund is working with IKC to expand its kitchen facility so the group can increase occupancy and output, and create direct and indirect jobs.

    The grant announcement was held at Hotel Covington, a for-profit business which also needed substantial financial assistance to get off the ground in 2013.

    In attendance was Covington ceremonial mayor Joe Meyer in his capacity as representative of the city at announcements and ribbon-cuttings. He also acts as spokesperson for the city.

    Meyer has not taken a position on the expected 17.4% rate increase that Duke Energy wants.