Columbiana Port Authority Moves Forward with Investment Hub Project

LISBON, Ohio – A resolution was passed Monday by the Columbiana County Port Authority board of directors which will pave the way toward implementing a Global Investment Hub project.

By a unanimous vote, the board agreed to authorize the chief executive officer to prepare and submit a final application for a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia Programs.

The port authority has already been awarded the grant through a preliminary grant, according to CEO Penny Traina, and this resolution finalizes the grant application process.

The funding is earmarked for capital improvements to the Leetonia Industrial Building designated as the Global Investment Hub Project, which were described in the resolution as “a priority need” for the port authority.

The Columbiana County Port Authority has matching funds of $444,800 from other grants, loans and local funds for the project. 

The project is expected to attract new businesses to the county to create additional jobs, particularly in the 3D printing and petrochemical industries.

Also approved by the board Monday were the renewals of several leases for businesses utilizing port authority-owned properties in the Leetonia Industrial Building and Wellsville Intermodal Park.

One-year renewals at $3 per square foot in the Leetonia facility were approved for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, 11,820 square feet, $3,953.50; Humtown Pattern Co., 72,077 square feet, $24,297; and The Ex One Co., 1,780 square feet, $947.05.

At the Wellsville Intermodal, a one-year renewal was approved for the Paragon Integrated Services Group LLC, 45,000 square feet, $1,250 per month for vacant land used for a lay-down parking area.

Traina said the lease rates had not changed since the last approval.

Brittany Smith reported she had volunteered and was selected to be one of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association District’s Core Team members, meeting with other district members monthly to discuss strategies to address Appalachia’s substance abuse disorder crisis through a recovery-to-work program.

The goal of the program is to create more job opportunities for individuals who have struggled with substance abuse while also increasing the overall workforce availability in the region.

Smith will be traveling to Arlington, Va., to meet with other districts from Tennessee and North Carolina.

In an update on the recovery coordinator program implemented in August, Smith said the program has been successful so far, with several businesses talking about potential expansions in the near future. 

Smith said nearly all the businesses have voiced the need for workers, with several having multiple openings, and the team is assisting those businesses with their needs.

Pictured: A $250,000 grant awarded to the Columbiana County Port Authoritywill help upgrade the Leetonia Industrial Park .

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.