CCPA Joins with County Development Department

By Penny Traina, CEO

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – The Columbiana County Port Authority had a busy 2018 as it increased jobs and investment in the county, moved its headquarters twice in six months and joined forces with the Columbiana County Economic Development Department.

The port authority and economic development department partnered to become the county’s economic catalyst by offering a one-stop shop for businesses, government subdivisions and other entities.

Since the partnership, we helped create an Opportunity Zone in the village of Wellsville, which is one of 8,700 zones in the country. In these zones, private investors are eligible to receive tax benefits on unrealized capital gains reinvested through pooled opportunity funds.

In 2018, the port authority sold numerous properties, including its headquarters in East Liverpool for nearly $2 million and the former Ferro Louthan building in East Liverpool for $210,000. We then relocated into our building in Leetonia.

Subsequently, that building was sold, plus 10.505 acres of land, for $2.3 million to Haltec Corp. An additional 20.16 acres was sold for $495,852 to Pennex Aluminum Co. for its expansion in the Leetonia World Trade Park.

The port authority then purchased a building in Lisbon for $758,050, which now serves as our headquarters.

Our property sales in 2018 totaled $5,016,002, with 275 jobs created and a total expansion investment of $45 million dollars in Columbiana County.

From the sale of our real estate and investing funds, we were able to increase our cash by $1,164,408 (28%), reduce outstanding principal debt by $2,435,064 (70%) and reduce operating expenses by 15%.

The port authority worked with JobsOhio to award Haltec a $100,000 grant and Pennex Aluminum a $136,000 grant for their expansions.

We also began administering the Community Development Block Grant program, which assisted in the award of several grants in 2018.

Among those grant awards was $334,800 for the village of Wellsville to repair four intersections, a grant of $200,000 to Compco Quaker Manufacturing to assist with job training requirements, and a $15,300 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the village of Salineville.

A partnership was created between the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University and the port authority to assist in our effort to market Columbiana County by collecting historical data to create an economic development report card.

Also in 2018, the port authority helped to form the Northern Ohio River Business Association, working with Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties. The goal is to bring awareness to businesses and industries along the Ohio River and promote commerce, safety, stewardship, public relations and security.

In an effort to promote the Intermodal Facility in Wellsville, tours were given in 2018 to many honored guests.

Among those who visited were U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson and state Rep. Tim Ginter, representatives from the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, Team NEO, county commissioners and Branden Leay Criman, director of Inland Waterways Gateway in the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This year, I will join the Ohio-Pennsylvania Stateline Export Initiative’s Trade Mission to Thailand and Vietnam in March. The purpose is to meet with government officials and companies to promote Columbiana County and scout industries that would play into the oil and gas boom along the Ohio River.

The Wellsville Intermodal Facility is geographically blessed to be near the cracker plant under construction in Monaca, Pa., and the proposed PTT cracker plant in Belmont County.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.