CCPA Seeks Funds for Spec Building at Leetonia Park

LISBON, Ohio – The Columbiana County Port Authority board of directors took the first step Monday toward construction of a commercial speculative building at its Leetonia industrial park.

The board voted in favor of entering into negotiations and to accept a contract with Howells and Baird Inc. as criteria engineer for the project proposed for the Leetonia World Trade Park.

Executive Director Penny Traina explained plans for the project, estimated to cost between $4.8 and $5 million for construction of the 60,000-square-foot metal/steel spec building. 

While saying the project is still in the planning stages, Traina explained the anticipated funding will include $500,000 in equity based on the port authority already owning the land on which the building will be constructed, as well as existing infrastructure on the site. 

A $2.25 million bank loan will be sought, and Traina said she and her team are also planning to apply for another $2.25 million in Rural Industry Park Loan funding and $500,000 in Ohio Site Improvement Grant funding. She explained that the RIPL funding starts out as a loan but if all conditions are met, can become grant funding.

In addition, Traina said there are other funding sources that can be tapped into, assuring the board, “We will go after all the available funding we can. My hope is to get about 80% grant funding.”
Although none of the funding is in-hand at this time, Traina said after the meeting, “I believe we’re good candidates.”

Traina and board member and county economic development Director Tad Herold said there is a high demand for such commercial buildings. Whenever state officials or developers call, “Herold said, They’re looking for space that can be occupied now.”

Traina agreed, saying, “We’re seeing a great demand for spec buildings. No matter where our team goes, they’re looking for space. There’s a need in northeast Ohio for such buildings.”

The building will be constructed on lots 13 and 14 of the World Trade Park and will include reinforced concrete floors, at least two loading docks, crane access availability, 30-32-foot-high ceilings, a parking lot with about 90 spaces and about 3,000 square-feet of office space. 

Its construction will leave about 15 acres on which to build and another 30 contiguous acres for future expansion. 

“Location is key,” Traina said, pointing out the new construction will be 3.5 miles from state Route 11, 68 miles from Pittsburgh, 85 miles from Cleveland and 30 miles from the Wellsville Intermodal Facility. 
Traina said there is no time frame for when construction might begin since the project is in its infancy stage.

Board President Charlie Presley commended Traina and her team for their “great insight” and “great work” on the project.

The board also voted favorably on six resolutions regarding the award of $422,640 in Maritime Assistant Grant funding to Quality Liquid Feeds in Wellsville. The funds will pay the remaining half of an $845,280 project at its facility that includes property improvements, production efficiency, additional storage and product protection.

In addition to a resolution authorizing the port authority to accept the grant funding on behalf of the company, the board approved separate resolutions awarding contracts to several companies for the equipment purchased with the funding.

Those awards included: Williams Toyota Lift Inc., $110,920 for an articulating boom lift snorkel; APO Pumps & Compressors, $30,972 for an air compressor; Boiler Specialists, $280,481 for a circulating steam generator; AmeriCrane & Hoist Corporation, $6,299 for an electric chain hoist; and Fallsway Equipment Co., $47,213.27 for a forklift.

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