EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — The Columbiana County Port Authority has been awarded 19 grants so far this year that total more than $3 million. Another six are in the offing that could add $2.3 million in funding for a variety of projects, says Penny Traina, executive director.
Traina and her team successfully applied for the grants that will be used for infrastructure: roads, water and sewer, maritime and workforce development projects throughout the county and along the Ohio River.
Securing that many grants “is pretty darned good for a staff of four,” says Traina. “It takes a whole team and I have a good one.”
Her team is waiting to hear the status of the other six grants for which applications have been filed. The applications are earmarked for renovations to the Cherry Fork industrial park, the renovation of the Thompson building in East Liverpool, and a maritime project involving cargo on the river, as well as funding a recovery coordinator for the county.
This coordinator would help businesses in the county to retain and expand as a direct response to the COVID pandemic, Traina explains.
Staff members Robert Ritchey and Brittany Smith expect to begin rolling out a business development program by November, knocking on doors, asking how the port authority can help, Traina adds. They will make the first contact with manufacturing companies in the county.
The port authority is also moving ahead with plans to install a dual charging station for electric vehicles at its offices in Lisbon. That should be completed by Oct. 1, she says.
The port authority board recently approved the charging station, with plans to have it installed by last May or June, when it would have been the only publicly owned one in the county.
However, Traina says, “With the COVID situation, it got delayed,” and the city of Columbiana recently installed its own station in that community, meaning there will now be two within a 60-mile radius.