Progress coming to the area

By Frank Lewis -

With the recent announcement that could potentially bring 200 new jobs to the area by way of news that Green EnviroTech Holding Corporation (GETH) signed a contract with Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to locate on the former Dow Chemical property at Haverhill, Ohio, and Wednesday’s announcement that 550 new jobs will be coming to the South Shore, Kentucky area, it is becoming evident that growth and progress are coming to the area.

Add to that the work that continues to progress on the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway (Ohio 823). Fairground Road off the Lucasville-Minford Road where full capacity has meant the location of several new businesses. For example, Federal Supply Services, Inc. (FSSI) is looking to hire 37 new employees, and AEP Ohio has built a new facility in the same area, and you have progress.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Times for an upcoming story, Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said people should begin to think regionally. He spoke about the recent announcement of 550 jobs coming to South Shore and how some people in Scioto County don’t understand the positive effect it has locally.

“For those that would say, ‘Well, that’s Kentucky,’ they don’t understand regionalism,” Davis said. “They don’t understand that there will be people working at that plant from Scioto County. There will be money spent in Scioto County from that plant. There will be income taxes and sale tax realized in Scioto County as a result. Property taxes as a result. People will buy houses.”

Something is also happening in the city of Portsmouth that many people did not believe would ever happen. Remember that big building in the center of downtown Portsmouth that started a controversy that continues even today?

“515 Chillicothe Street, as I like to call it,” Southern Ohio Port Authority Director Jason Kester said. Kester was, of course, talking about the Marting’s building. “We’ve been approached by a developer that is possibly interested in redeveloping both the Washington Street property (Adelphia building) and the Chillicothe Street property. The process of how that would work is that the property would be transferred from the city to the Port Authority and then we can transfer it to the developer.”

Kester said it would have to be sold for the minimum appraised value, which is around $100,000 on the Adelphia building and $200,000 on the Marting’s building.

“We would then transfer those funds back to the city,” Kester said. “Most developers, transferring the property on Washington Street, that’s hot-cold, hot-cold, up and down, but we are going to start taking the steps, because I think that is actually going to be a go. The Chillicothe Street property, a little bit bigger project, more money involved.”

City Council will reportedly look at the situation surrounding the Marting’s building on May 8.

“We are all working together and hopefully we can generate a few hundred-thousand dollars the city can set aside for a future capital project, maybe get a new city building or do major improvements to the current building,” Kester said.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.