PORTSMOUTH — JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the Scioto County Economic Development Office and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) announced a $3.57 million grant to extend sanitary sewer from Franklin Furnace to the Southern Ohio Industrial District site (former Dow Chemical plant) near Haverhill to increase sewer capacity.
JobsOhio’s strategic investment in this heavy industrial corridor magnifies opportunities to attract additional growth to the region. JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said this corridor is routinely a finalist for large corporate site searches, but sewer has been a major missing piece.
“The corridor between Franklin Furnace and the Southern Ohio Industrial District contains three large prime sites with access to river, rail, highway and industrial capacity gas and electricity,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “We are pleased to partner with Scioto and Lawrence counties on this project, and we are confident this investment will pay off by attracting jobs and opportunity to the surrounding communities and Ohio.”
LEDC will manage the grants, and construction will be managed jointly by LEDC and the Scioto County Sanitary Sewer Department. Once completed, the sewer line will be dedicated to the Scioto County Sanitary Sewer Department for ownership and maintenance. The final design of the project is nearly done. The project will involve the installation of nearly 5.5 miles of 8-inch forced main sewer line along Gallia Pike and a lift station near Haverhill. Altogether, this project will bring industrial sewer capacity to at least 861 acres among three sites in Scioto and Lawrence counties. Some funding will also be provided to mitigate wetlands as a part of the project.
“This project has been a cooperative effort all the way around,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “Scioto and Lawrence Counties have shown some forward thinking to partner on this project, and by securing the JobsOhio funding, we are pleased to be a part of this effort to advance the economy of both counties.”
Ohio Senator Terry Johnson of District 14 said that just having potential industrial sites isn’t enough. “Ensuring that those sites have the needed infrastructure for industrial projects to build upon is crucial. This sewer project is a prime example of how state and local economic development efforts can meet for success. We all look forward to the ultimate prize… private corporations taking root in our communities and providing great paying, meaningful jobs for our people.”
“The NS Site at Haverhill is flat, mostly above the floodplain, borders rail, and has high-capacity electric transmission and gas lines nearby,” said Robert Horton, Scioto County Development Director. “Rail and 4-lane highway are on one side; the Ohio River is on the other. Scioto County is committed to seeing this site develop with job-creating projects.”
Ohio Representative Brian Baldridge of the 90th House District said this collaboration between JobsOhio, OhioSE, and Lawrence and Scioto counties exemplifies the potential for economic growth in the region.
“This investment into our infrastructure will allow us to capitalize on the resources that we currently have at our disposal,” said Baldridge. “This swath of land along the river, with direct access to the river, rail, and highway transportation, will now be an ideal development opportunity. Enhancing the value of these properties will draw more investment into our economy and tax base, and provide jobs for many hard working Ohioans.”
Funding for the sewer improvements and wetland mitigation was made available through the JobsOhio-Ohio Southeast Site Initiative, a program that started in 2018 with a goal to assist southeastern Ohio counties by creating competitive sites capable of winning new business investments. The first step in the process was the completion of comprehensive due diligence studies for sites in the program to identify development constraints. Once those constraints were identified and quantified, the program ultimately sought to assist with risk mitigation to speed up the development process.
“LEDC is having great success filling The Point Industrial Park. The Southern Ohio Industrial District has already been chosen by PureCycle for its state-of-the-art plastics recycling operation,” said Bill Dingus, Executive Director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation. “This sewer extension will allow us to continue to attract quality, innovative companies that will create good jobs to the tri-state area.”
The sites in the program were selected with the assistance of a group of southern Ohio CEOs who are now part of the Appalachian Partnership Inc. and advised JobsOhio and Ohio Southeast Economic Development.