Port Authority Enters $1.9M Grant Agreement with JobsOhio

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Western Reserve Port Authority’s board of directors approved entering into a $1.9 million grant agreement with JobsOhio to reimburse the port authority for acquisition of oil and gas wells and rights at the industrial site it sold to Kimberly-Clark Corp. late last month.

BDM Steel donated approximately 1,000 acres to the port authority in late 2021. The WRPA board sold 560 acres to the paper products company for just over $9.9 million during a Dec. 28 special meeting.

At the meeting, the Dallas-based manufacturer said in a news release that its development and project plans for the site were being finalized, and approval by its board of directors in 2024 was being worked on. Its brands include Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Kotex and Cottonelle.

Trevena said he has not received any updates on Kimberly-Clark’s plans for the site.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Trevena also sought to tamp down concerns raised in the community about pollution and odors from the potential plant. Such concerns are associated with pulp mills.  

“Kimberly Clark does not own pulp mills,” he asserted. “They buy [paper] on the open market.” 

Additionally, he cited a list of environmental awards that the company has received. 

Also during Wednesday’s meeting, the port authority approved accepting the donation of three parcels, totaling about 78 acres, from the city of Warren, contingent on completion of legal descriptions, proper due diligence and legal counsel approval. Board members subsequently approved the donation of the parcels to West Warren Development LLC, which is developing a $9 million industrial warehouse in the city.

The transfer “keeps us on our time line for development, financing and material ordering,” said Blair Mulholland, a real estate associate with Sapientia Ventures LLC, which is developing the West Warren project.

In addition, board members during the meeting voted to retain the existing slate of officers, which has been in place since 2017. Martin Loney will continue as chairman; Sam Covelli will remain vice chairman; and Rich Edwards will stay on as secretary.

“They are doing well,” said board member Kathleen Kennedy, who made the motion to keep the current slate.

“We’ve done some really good things here in the last couple of years, and we’re just going to continue that motion going forward,” Loney said.

Pictured at top: An aerial view of property BDM Steel donated to the Western Reserve Port Authority.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.