Guernsey County Port Authority Director Norm Blanchard recently advised board members three individuals have expressed interest in a 35-acre tract of land located in the D.O. Hall Business Park on Brick Church Road.
Two of the interested parties — D&J Precision Machine and Guernsey Industries — are already located in Guernsey County. The third party is a private business owner who is looking for a site to build an undisclosed processing facility.
Blanchard said he has spoken with Ohio Department of Natural Resources to discuss potential funding to help fill abandoned mines on the property.
“We are talking with them regarding funds to grout the old mines,” Blanchard said.
D&J Precision Machine is looking for space to expand its operation. The company currently builds diesel racing engines and owners, Drew and Holly Pumphrey, would like to expand to manufacturing stock engines.
“Their location on Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge is simply not big enough for what they want to do,” said Blanchard.
Guernsey Industry officials recently advised the Guernsey County Board of Developmental Disabilities they no long require a building the size being rented from the agency on Southgate Road south of Cambridge.
No other information regarding the third interested party was available.
Blanchard said engineers have looked at the property and a stream that runs through the site would be beneficial for the facility.
In new unrelated to the potential property acquisition at the business park, Blanchard reported there is no new news regarding a $2.1 million federal earmark through Rep. Bill Johnson’s office for the D.O. Hall site.
“It is still in the (U.S.) Senate awaiting approval,” advised Blanchard.
The funds are for a $3,376,269 projects at the D.O. Hall Business Park that includes $2,615,949 for site preparation and $760,300 for wetland mitigation.
In other business:
Blanchard gave brief updates regarding expansion plans at several local business including Colgate-Palmolive, Ohio Bridge, Ridge Tool, FedEx and American Electric Power.
Colgate officials are discussing Phase III of their plan, which has yet to be finalized, and Ohio Bridge leaders are pursuing two proposals for expanding its bridge manufacturing operation.
“They have to design an emergency route in the event Steubenville Avenue would be closed during and they are pursuing changes to the infrastructure, such as water and sewer, in that area,” said Blanchard of the efforts at Ohio Bridge.
He also explained Ridge Tool has extended its lease through 2029 with expansion plans expected by 2025.
Meanwhile, American Electric Power Ohio has announced plans to construct a new service center with offices and storage buildings on Cadiz Road east of Cambridge near the Interstate 77 interchange at an estimated cost of $20 million.
Updates were also provided on two Byesville initiatives that include the sale of the former Fabri-Form building in the village and the former Pomegranate land on Ohio 209 north of the village at a reduced price of $250,000.
Members participated in various discussions including an executive session to discuss the purchase or sale of property for public use. No action was taken following the session.
Other discussion topics included a lone bid of $5,000 received from Perry & Associates for Cambridge Renaissance audit and tax services; Guernsey County Strategic Plan; a property transfer in Cambridge; and a $530,428 renovation project by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District at Seneca Lake Marina.
The Port Authority will next meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11 in the conference room at the Guernsey County CIC office, 9900 Brick Church Road south of Cambridge.