Outreach Efforts Top 2017 Agenda at CCPA

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – Administration of the Columbiana County Port Authority became more coherent and systematic this past year and its role in the economic development of the county better understood by the governments and businesses it serves, officials say.

In its last meeting of the year Monday night, port authority Executive Director Penny Traina reviewed its achievements during her first year as CEO and presented her agenda for 2017.

“We have made a lot of changes internally and we have been out marketing the port authority all year long,” she began. Residents, the business community and municipal and township governments have a clearer understanding of the port authority, its mission and powers because of three round tables she held for each, she noted, and will hold more next year to keep stakeholders updated.

“We will continue to reach out and market the board powers of the port authority,” Traina stated, “particularly that we are a financing authority [to promote] economic development, including capital investments, which in turn leads to job creation.”

Turning to administration, Traina reported, “We have streamlined our finances and will be rolling out our new cash-basis statements in January.”

The CCPA’s fiscal officer, Tad Herold (also director of the county department of economic development), noted the sounder financial footing the port authority has achieved during the year. It has reduced its debt and improved its profitability. Its total current liabilities at Nov. 30 stood at $44,214 compared to $104,173 a year earlier.

At Nov. 30, the current ratio of the port authority was 95% — the ideal current ratio is 100% or 1:1 – and a year ago it stood at 52.7, Herold told his colleagues on the board.

Unexpected grants helped bolster port authority finances, he said.

As the economic development agency for the county, the port authority administers Ohio One within Columbiana County. Ohio One is the system Jobs Ohio uses to inform site selectors about areas within Ohio that could meet their criteria.

In January, Ohio One will launch a new GIS planning system, Traina noted, which “is much easier to maneuver and offers more information to site selectors.” Columbiana County has made little use of this tool, she said, something she intends to remedy and encourage property owners to participate.

Traina and her staff will “implement our business retention expansion program,” she told her board, with “boots on the ground,” that is, visit businesses throughout the county to learn their needs and help them meet those needs.

And she intends to strengthen ties with the commissioners of neighboring counties, Mahoning County to the north; Beaver County, Pa., to the east; and Hancock County, W.Va., to the south.

With the cracker plant under construction in Monaca, Pa., support businesses will spring up and a coordinated approach to serving them and the plant could be best served by county governments working in coordination, Traina said.

The board ratified the contract with Eichler Construction of Salem to repair the 4,250-square-foot roof of the building the port authority owns at 600 Cherry Fork, Leetonia, at a cost of $28,750.

Eichler was the lowest of three bids on the project with a cap of $45,000. Weather has delayed Eichler workmen from beginning the project.

Earlier this month, county commissioners reappointed Herold and attorney Nick Amato of Wellsville to the five-member board.

Pictured: Penny Traina visited the Wellsville Intermodal Facility in September for a ribbon-cutting.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.