Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation members learned Friday that a new business is coming to Cambridge.
CIC Director Norm Blanchard reported Will Petta will open a business to market oil products at a company-owned property in the 100 block of Steubenville Avenue.
“A new business is always good news,” said Blanchard.
Petta is co-owner of Petta Enterprises located on North Third Street in Cambridge.
Petta Enterprises is a family-owned and operated company specializing in environmental cleaning for the gas and oil industry.
Blanchard said neither an opening date nor the number of workers to be employed at the new business were available.
Will Petta was out of state Friday and attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. His brother, Brian Petta, confirmed the new business, but referred questions to Will.
The new business is adjacent to Ohio Bridge, another business on the director’s agenda for the CIC meeting.
Blanchard updated members regarding Ohio Bridge’s request to close a portion of Gomber Avenue to join two production facilities at the West End property and expand the business.
Ohio Bridge currently owns 11 buildings at the site and spends up to $400,000 annually to move items being manufactured between the various buildings.
Blanchard said Ohio Bridge has committed to creating an alternate route for an emergency on Steubenville Avenue if Gomber Avenue is closed.
The long-standing Cambridge company has also pledged to create green space around the sprawling manufacturing business.
“It’s a tough situation,” said Blanchard. “You want to keep people happy where they live, but it’s a business with a hundred employees. You don’t want that expansion to be someplace else and lose those jobs.”
Blanchard also discussed a proposed project by the city of Cambridge to rehabilitate a downtown parking lot to include paving, striping, sidewalk repairs and installing a curb with a sidewalk along Turner Avenue.
A portion of the $350,000 project was previously submitted for funding by the Ohio Department of Transportation through the county’s Transportation Improvement District.
The city has reportedly secured $272,500 for the work leaving a balance of $77,500, according to Blanchard.
The Area Agency on Aging Region 9 has also inquired about 35 parking spots in the lot and will reportedly contribute an undisclosed amount money toward the cost.
“This project will make it safer for the people who park there and it will prevent them from having to take up parking spaces in front of the downtown stores,” Blanchard said.
The decision regarding which projects will be funded by ODOT is expected in August with funds available, if approved, in October.
in other business:
- A recent visit to Bellefontaine by Blanchard and other economic development officials was discussed with CIC members. Blanchard said officials there told the group to brand their community and capitalize on its history while publicizing local opportunities.
- Blanchard also discussed activities of the Guernsey County Manufacturing Council with the three school districts in the county. He said the council is working to get information to students regarding what jobs and training are available in the county.
- Efforts are underway to get a 49-acre property owned by Otto Luburgh and located in eastern Guernsey County advertised as a potential business site. Luburgh plans to invest $700,000 to level the property and improve Dollison Lane, an access road to the property at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Ohio 285 south of Old Washington. “This would give us a site that we don’t currently have available in the county,” said Blanchard.
- Board members learned the Paul R. Brown Epic Center in the D.O. Hall Business Park is in discussions for a lease by an unknown occupant. Blanchard said details are not yet available, but there has been “a lot of activity” at the site on Brick Church Road.
- American Electric Power is moving forward with plans to construct a new building adjacent to Cadiz Road (U.S. 22) near the junction with Interstate 77 north of Cambridge. Site work is reportedly underway and Guernsey County Commissioner Jack Marlin reported the facility will be similar to AEP’s location along I-70 in Belmont County.
- Blanchard discussed business retention and expansion visits to Federal Mogul, Ohio Bridge, Detroit Diesel, Ridge Tool and Bi-Con Services.
- During a roundtable session, officials representing Guernsey County, Cambridge, Byesville, Cambridge Main Street, Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce, Congressman Bill Johnson and local townships provided an update regarding local activities. The theme of the updates was everybody is busy getting back to normal while recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
- The board unanimously approved a $1,000 donation from The Community Bank and a 1% salary increase for CIC staff, effective July 1, during the financial report. The CIC is currently operating 3% under budget for 2021 with $104,777 in revenue and $73,424 in expenditures for the year..
The Guernsey County CIC will not meet in July. The board will next meet on Aug. 6.