Good Morning, Trumbull Speakers Tout Progress, Development
WARREN, Ohio – Trumbull Energy Center, a $1.2 billion natural gas-powered plant in Lordstown, is expected to be operational in 2026.
Steven Remillard, representing the Trumbull Energy Center, was among the speakers Thursday at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Trumbull event at The Grand Resort.
“In November we closed the financing at $1.2 billion and immediately went into construction,” he said.
Remillard estimated the project totals $1.8 billion, including construction and ongoing operation.
The company will also buy water services and provide a new revenue base for existing businesses. Also, the company will contribute to the Lordstown Local School District and the village of Lordstown.
The Lordstown project is being developed by a consortium of equity investors, including Korea Southern Power Co., Siemens Energy Power Development & Investments and Korea Overseas Infrastructure Urban & Development Corp.
“It’s interesting to see the diversity in terms of the investment that’s being made in Trumbull County in terms of the Korean investors, Taiwanese investors – and I think that says a lot,” Remillard said.
In July, however, Lordstown asked the state Power Siting Board to suspend work on the project, citing noncompliance.
The company’s work certificate was approved based on the 34.7-acre project site being zoned for industrial purposes and the surrounding areas sharing similar zoning, according to the village’s complaint.
The village argued that much of the construction is being done on an area that is zoned residential.
TEC requested a zone change of a parcel from residential to industrial, but it was rejected by the village.
Saying the matter constitutes pending litigation, Remillard declined to comment about the village’s request, but added: “We’re committed to being a good partner.”
Remillard and other TEC representatives presented a $10,000 check to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber Foundation at Thursday’s event. The foundation funds the chamber’s economic development activities.
Trumbull County Commissioner Denny Malloy touted development across the county, including running water and sewer lines to northern parts of the county and constructing a new county dog pound in Vienna, a new health department in Cortland and a new county 911 center.
He said all of the improvements and development are not only stemming the flow of people leaving the area, but, “We’re starting to get people to come back.”
Malloy also talked about a need for more housing and for additional lodging. Hotels in the community are often booked. That means people who travel to Trumbull County from Cleveland or other areas to visit attractions including parks and wildlife areas either return home or stay somewhere between Trumbull and their home cities if they can’t find a hotel room.
Also at the gathering, Christine Nelson, vice president of project management and site strategies at Team NEO, told breakfast attendees about the organization’s four strategies: to reduce the talent gap in the region, program sites for development, grow the industry base and engage the region.
Patrice Russel, director of workforce development at Akron Children’s Hospital, also spoke at the event.
“We’re the 15th largest employer in the area,” Russel said, pointing to doctor’s offices, sports medicine facilities, rehabilitation centers and urgent care centers.
Akron Children’s workforce development office works to rid the barriers for people who want to earn an education and work for the hospital. They fund transportation, childcare and tuition to ensure finances don’t stop people from entering careers that are needed at the hospital system.
“Whatever it’s going to take to get from Point A to graduation,” Russel said, referring to what’s funded.
Those who use Akron Children’s workforce development services commit to work at the hospital system.
Josh Prest, executive director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, said at Thursday’s breakfast that the commission, established in 2015, focuses on the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center in Ravenna.
Military pilots use the airfield at YARS for touch-and-go landing training, Prest explained. YARS is ideal for that training because the airspace isn’t crowded.
Rob Berk, president of Berk Enterprises of Warren, gave an update on his Past Times Pinball & Video Arcade, which opened in June at 419 N. State St., Girard. The arcade features 600 games and hosts parties.
Berk is a lifelong pinball enthusiast and collected more than 1,000 of the machines.
“I have a hobby that got out of control,” Berk said jokingly.
The ages of the machines at Past Times range from the 1930s to the latest games.
“Come let loose and let your inhibitions run wild,” Berk said. “It’s $20 to play all day.”
Pictured at top: Steven Remillard, representing the Trumbull Energy Center, was among the speakers at Thursday’s event.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.