The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park observed its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 with a special program at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. Oct. 16, 1992 was the day President George H. W. Bush signed into law the act establishing the park. It signaled official national recognition of the significance of Dayton’s historical aviation sites and marked a turning point in Dayton’s efforts to reclaim the legacy of the Wright brothers and recognize African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. — Staff Photo by Ty Greenlees

Dayton national park could get over $1.8M from Portman proposal

A National Parks Service bill proposed by Sen. Rob Portman could address a $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance at National Parks and would bring more than $1.8 million to one of Dayton’s historical sites.

Portman introduced the Restore Our Parks Act in the U.S. Senate last week, according to his office. If passed by both houses of congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, the bipartisan bill would address a long backlog of deferred maintenance at the country’s National Parks.

Ohio’s eight national park sites would get more than $100 million from Portman’s bill. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park at 16 S. Williams St., would get more than $1.8 million if the proposal becomes law, according to Portman’s office.

The funding would cover the park’s entire deferred maintenance needs as of September 2017, according to documents from the National Parks Service.

“Just in general terms, deferred maintenance covers HVAC systems, sidewalk repairs, roofing repairs,” said Kendell Thompson, new superintendent for Dayton’s historical park. “It’s stuff that just needs to be done as a part of a regular maintenance program. As projects are prioritized some will get funded and some will not.”

The William Howard Taft National Historic site in Cincinnati would get more than $2 million and the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, 75 minutes from Dayton, would receive more than $2.1 million from Portman’s bill.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island would receive the most funding at $47.7 million. Ohio Cuyahoga Valley National Park would receive more than $45.8 million, the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument could get $1.9 million, the First Ladies National Historic Site may get $1.1 million and the James A. Garfield National Historic Site may be given nearly $719,000, according to Portman’s office.

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