Lordstown OKs Tax Break for $7M Old Dominion Project

LORDSTOWN, Ohio — In a unanimous decision Monday evening, Lordstown Village Council voted to approve a tax abatement for the $7 million Old Dominion Freight Line terminal project.

In accordance with social distancing, council members conducted the vote via Zoom phone conference. They voted to approve a 40% tax abatement over a 10-year period, which is less than the 60% initially reported in May.

“Originally, they asked for 60% for 10 years,” said Ron Radtka, council president. “We had negotiations with them and we got them to reduce it to 40% for 10 years, which benefits the schools.”

Council didn’t act on the project at its May meeting in order to continue negotiations with the Lordstown School Board on how the two entities would split the tax revenue brought in by the project. Per Ohio Revised Code, the municipality and school board must enter into a revenue sharing agreement for any tax abatements that come with an increase of $1 million or more in annual payroll.

The estimated payroll would be about $1.1 million, Nicholas Coggins, economic development coordinator of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, reported last month.

With the passage of the tax abatement by council, the vote goes to Trumbull County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday “and should get passed,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill. Should the commissioners pass the abatement, Hill expects Old Dominion will break ground on the project shortly thereafter.

“I know that they’re chomping at the bit. They have everything that they need,” Hill said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re out there working at the end of the week.”

According to its site plan, Old Dominion looks to build a 30,422-square-foot building at a 15 1/2-acre site at 7570 Tod Ave. S.W. The building would have 59 available loading docks.

Last month, the planning commission reported the project would create 20 full-time jobs within five years – and potentially 40 within 10 years – and the company would relocate its 48-person workforce from an existing site in Girard.

Hill says he doesn’t expect the coronavirus pandemic to have much impact on the project, if any at all. Regarding other projects in the village, the pandemic impacted the progress of TJX Companies Inc.’s HomeGoods regional distribution Center “a little bit,” and site work at the $2.3 billion Ultium Cells LLC battery plant has been going “great guns,” he said.

In May, Lordstown Village Planning Commission approved the final permit for the joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem to begin construction. Site work began in mid-April.

Pictured: Site preparation is underway at the 15-acre site in Lordstown where Old Dominion Freight Line plans to build its new terminal.

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