COLUMBUS -- The state Controlling Board OK'd Third Frontier Research and Development Tax Bond awards for several high-tech projects in Portage and Summit counties.
Kent State University received funding for three separate projects -- $50,000 for a "piezoelectric Fiber Mats" effort, $48,981 for "bistable liquid crystal" windows and $38,590.53 for "active retarder films for glasses-free 3D TV technology."
The largest award ($100,000) is for Acense LLC in Peninsula to develop specialty medical sensors.
All four projects were OK'd by the Third Frontier board in December.
In other business, the board released nearly $82,000 in grant funding Monday for a new playground in Twinsburg.
The 2-acre parcel, known as the "Rossi Property," was purchased by township trustees two years ago for about $30,000 for the purposes of "cleaning it up and doing something positive with it," said Township Manager Rob Kagler.
There were tires, old cars, metal, etc., strewn about, overgrown vegetation and the property was heavily delinquent on property taxes, Kagler said.
The proposed park would cost about $120,000.
The project was among several selected by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for NatureWorks grants, a program created by voters 20 years ago to assist in park development throughout the state.
Other grants for area projects OK'd Monday included $16,260 for a new trail at Freedom Township's community park and $36,000 for a pavilion and fencing at Craig Beach Park in Mahoning County.
NatureWorks funding is doled out to counties on a per capita basis. Local governments from 72 counties submitted grant requests totaling $4.2 million during the most recent round, with 93 projects totaling nearly $2 million selected for funding, according to documents.
To date, NatureWorks has backed more than 1,300 parks projects totaling $63 million, according to statistics compiled by ODNR.
Twinsburg Bulletin Editor Andrew Schunk contributed to this report.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.