Mobility Ramps

The Guernsey County CDC partnered with Mobility Manager for Muskingum and Guernsey Counties to install ramps for individuals with mobility devices. This program led to the installation of 7 ramps at a combined cost of $10,000, with $8,000 coming from the Mobility Manager and $2,000.00 coming from the CDC. Not only did the CDC donate $2,000.00, but our crews installed every single ramp. This is an example of what happens when people, organizations and community leaders work together to better the lives of our area residents.

Guernsey County Receives $325K INSPIRE Grant from the ARC



The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) has been awarded a $325,645.00 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide paid work experience and training in Guernsey County. The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package through ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative, which addresses the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery ecosystem and help facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.

“I commend The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation for their work supporting the recovery ecosystem in Appalachian Ohio, they are integral to bringing our INSPIRE projects to life,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation is a great asset in our efforts to address the region’s substance use disorder crisis, and I look forward to seeing how they will help build a strong recovery ecosystem and a stronger workforce for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

Guernsey County CDC Executive Director Ron Gombeda said, “Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the ARC believing in our project and what are trying to do to improve the lives of those going through substance use disorder. This funding will provide paid work experience for those who are on the path to recovery, with the goal being full time permanent employment with a local business. I want to personally thank the ARC for its work in addressing this crisis within the Appalachia region by making this funding available.

Since INSPIRE was established in April 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 83 projects across 289 Appalachian counties. The $12 million package for fiscal year 2022 is projected to improve nearly 450 businesses and prepare nearly 3,000 students and workers for new opportunities in the workforce.

ARC is expecting to issue a request for proposals for the next round of INSPIRE grant opportunities in early 2023. Additional information and resources are available at:

Byesville Park Swing Install

We were excited to partner with the Village of Byesville to install this swing set. As you can see, our crews were more than happy to give it a test swing. This is just another example of how we can achieve a lot by working together.

Donation from Brick Insurance Group

  • Kearny and Rachel with Brick Insurance Group Inc., stopped by today to present us with a donation towards The Great Guernsey Trail. We are so humbled by their desire to donate to our beautiful trail. Without supporters like them, we couldn’t do what we do. Thank you both so much for the donation, it is truly appreciated by all of us there at the CDC. Pictured are Kearny Hambrick with Brick Insurance, CDC Executive Director Ron Gombeda and Rachel Friensehner with Brick Insurance.

St. Luke’s Chapel (AKA Fletcher Chapel) Renovation Project.



The Guernsey County Community Development Corp. recently acquired St. Luke’s Chapel (AKA Fletcher’s Chapel) located at the old Fletcher General Hospital, a WWII medical facility for treating wounded soldiers. The process to acquire the chapel was started years ago by County Commissioner Skip Gardner, local historian Rick Booth, Kathi Albertson and more than a few others. As you can see in the pictures, the chapel is in solid shape structurally, but does need some extensive updates and repairs. Most importantly being the electric, followed by the plumbing, HVAC, and the roof. There has been a dedicated group of individuals volunteering their time to clean, box and label the items left in the chapel and I thank them dearly for their time. We did have to hire a professional cleaning company to remediate the inside of the chapel due to the animal waste.

Our long-term goal is to rehabilitate the building and turn a portion of it into a dedicated memorial for local veterans that served in our nation’s conflicts. Additionally, we want to provide the space as a community building that can be used for meetings, wedding ceremonies, etc. Thanks to my dedicated board and staff, the CDC has undertaken and finished a large number of projects and programs over the years. The projects include the Trailside Skate Park, the extension of The Great Guernsey Trail, our workforce development programs, the six countywide litter cleanups, and so much more. Those successes have only been made possible thought thanks to the continued financial support of so many individuals. Which is why I am reaching out and asking our supporters to once again donate to an amazing project. We are still estimating the cost of rehabilitation, and based on the cost of materials and the needed upgrades, we are looking at a minimum of $30,000.00. We say minimum because we may get into more issues as we proceed with the repairs. Because I love history and I love Guernsey County, this project more than any other has stoked my desire to make something that the whole community will be proud of for decades to come.

If you are interested in making a donation, please send a check payable to the “Guernsey County CDC” at PO Box 1175 Cambridge, Ohio with “Chapel” in the memo line. All donors will be recognized on the buildings future donor wall (unless you wish to remain anonymous). You can also donate online, through this webpage, by clicking on “donate today” in the header.

New Director of Veterans Services and Housing

The Guernsey County Community Development has initiated a new program designed to assist Veterans in obtaining affordable permanent housing, temporary or transitional housing and providing assistance in transitioning into civilian life. This program was made possible thanks to Steven Ashby, himself a Veteran, who came to our executive director, Ron Gombeda, with his idea and desire to help Veterans.
Steven, called Steve-O by his friends, was born and raised in Marietta, Ohio and graduated from Marietta High School. He proudly served our country in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2014. His jobs included equipment operator and construction supervisor. After retiring from the military he owned and operated a HVAC company in Pennsylvania.
Feeling alone and like there must be more to life; he adopted his loving companion dog, Karma. He said, “I rescued her and she rescued me and at this point in my life I am very appreciative of the beauty of nature, and that is a true blessing.”
Hi passion is to encourage other Veterans to transition into civilian life by offering support for happy, healthy, permanent lifestyle changes. Steven said, “I am prepared to assist other Veterans by building a community where they can belong, too. Veterans are special and deserving of the best life has to offer, which includes housing for these true heroes.”
In Steven’s new position as Director of Veterans Housing & Services he will work with local businesses, government agencies and other nonprofits in acquiring houses and funding that will be used to rehab houses by the CDC staff and volunteers and then provide those homes to Veterans.
Please join us in welcoming Steven on board and for starting this new program.

Tire Cleanup and Removal

On November 3rd we received a call from the Sheriff’s Office about some illegally dumped tires, so today Paul Dickson and Dylan Tope went out and picked up the tires that were dumped at the intersection of Broadhead Rd. and Coats Rd. They picked up a total of 37 tires, which will be disposed of by Liberty Scrap Tire Service.

2021 Veterans’ Angel Tree

The CDC is once again hosting our annual Veterans’ Angel Tree. Please contact us if you you would like to place the name of a veteran on the tree. If you are interested in helping a veteran, just stop into the office and pick an ornament off the tree. If you have questions, please contact Sharon or Melissa at 740-439-0020.

January 2021 Update

The Guernsey County Community Development (CDC) has so much going on to start 2021, I feel amazed and blessed at the same time. Honestly, I don’t know where to start, but let me give it a whirl. We are currently rehabbing one of our buildings in Byesville. The building will be home to a new business that will be a welcome addition to downtown Byesville. This will be the fifth business in Byesville that operates in one of our buildings. Plus, we also just purchased another building in Byesville that will also be rehabbed and available for another future business. Our workforce development program is proceeding and we currently have two young gentleman involved in the program. They learn critical skills in the fields of carpentry, mechanics, landscaping, time management and much more.
I’m working in cooperation with the City of Cambridge, OMEGA and the county to connect the The Great Guernsey Trail  with downtown Cambridge, which will help bring more tourism dollars to our county. Today, I started work on a grant to install electric vehicle chargers at the trailhead of our trail and I’m also working on holding another countywide tire and litter cleanup that will be funded by an Ohio EPA grant. In a few months we will bid out the work to resurface the first mile of our trail. We also have more trail maintenance projects planned for this summer.
Bobcat Run DGC will be finished this spring and (fingers crossed) ready for the public by summer. All of this is being done while still cleaning up illegal dumpsites, maintaining our beloved trail and everything else we do to make our county a better place to live and work.

Trailside Skate Park

We are thrilled to announce that the Trailside Skate Park is now open for the general public to use. Located adjacent to the Great Guernsey Trail at 63500 Corduroy Rd. Cambridge, Ohio, the park is open from dawn to dusk. Parking is available in the gravel lot near the Guernsey Trail Archery Range. The park is free to the general public and is a “skate at your own risk” activity.
We strongly encourage the use of helmets, pads and safety gear. Any questions can be answered by calling the CDC at 740-439-0020 and asking for Ron.
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