Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:55PM - 236 Views

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PDT Staff Writer

A group of local business leaders say, thanks in large part to the actions of the local community, the long talked about steel mill project for Haverhill has made significant steps in recently toward becoming a reality.

The local group of investors led by Andy Glockner and Jeff Albrecht have contributed their own personal money as part of what they consider an investment in not only the project, but in the community as a whole.

“Many of us do this not because of the return that we can make, but out of a love for our community,” Albrecht said. “It’s this kind of selflessness and care for the greater good that made this group first sit down together and discuss what they can do to help Southern Ohio. Instead of waiting for Columbus to make things happen, this group has taken the initiative to not leave things to chance and hope, but instead to devise a well thought through strategy for recovery: Front and center in this being the proposed steel mill.”

Meeting almost weekly, the group has debated a variety of different business propositions in different industries for Portsmouth and the surrounding areas and has moved some of those ideas forward. Talk at the meetings, however, almost always comes back to the proposed steel mill and the opportunity to bring high value added, sustainable industry back to Scioto County.

“The impact that the successful completion of these projects will have on our community cannot be understated,” Glockner said. “The opportunity to bring new manufacturing that can create thousands of new jobs simply can’t be missed, and we’d be hugely disappointed if we didn’t do everything that we can to make it happen.”

The local counties and economic development organizations led by Scioto County Commissioner Tom Reiser have also been continuously involved. Under his leadership, the counties are pooling their efforts to keep the project moving forward in hopes of securing what Reiser considers, “the most significant industrial project in the U.S. today,” to the area.

In the hopes of seeing additional progress, the group has set the date of Oct. 9 for it’s next meeting with the New Steel International.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com

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