When Franklin County commissioners voted to raise the county sales tax in 2013, they promised to use some of the money for a new job-creation program. In October of this year, they launched “the first part of that program, the Franklin County Infrastructure Bank,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The bank will “make low-interest loans available to other local governments for road, bridge, sewer, lighting and other improvements designed to make them attractive to businesses.” James Schimmer, Franklin County’s economic-development and planning director, said the bank will provide financing that “will leverage other dollars” from sources including private investment or state and federal programs, to “get projects done when they otherwise would come up short.” An initial investment of $3.5 million collected from the additional sales-tax revenue will start the fund, and the county will “add a similar amount for the next four to five years,” with the hope that the bank eventually becomes self-sustaining, as money paid back from successful projects funds future loans. Commissioner John O’Grady said the fund will benefit all residents of Franklin County, because, “[i]f we want to continue to grow the economy . . . we can’t have crumbling infrastructure. When local governments are looking to improve their communities through new development, they have to look at new infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.