Cathryn Stanley

Associate Editor

Although their approval was not officially required, Belmont County commissioners praised the Belmont County Port Authority, the Village of Barnesville and Warren Township on the finalizing of plans for the Joint Economic Development District which will culminate in the creation of the East Ohio Regional Industrial Park site just north of Barnesville on State Route 800.

At the Tuesday, Dec. 23 meeting, commissioners made a motion to recognize the agreements between the Village of Barnesville and Warren Township trustees. The Port Authority has also been involved in the creation of the JEDD.

Barnesville Village Administrator Roger Deal said the commissioner's approval was not required by statute, however, the board could have disapproved the agreement by resolution.

Deal said he wanted the official nod from the commissioners.

Now a board must be appointed consisting of three members -- one from council, one from the Warren Township Trustees board and a third, to be appointed by the first two as president of the board.

Deal said there will be "a lot for the board to consider."

He also said that village officials will also have much to consider.

"Council will have to prioritize that (the JEDD) with other village needs," Deal said.

Deal said the Port Authority has the plans ready and there is $750,000 allotted for the roadwork. He said Barnesville officials and the port authority will discuss the extension of water and sewer to the site in the future.

"Many communities have (industrial) sites but are not ready for businesses to move in," Deal said. "Barnesville will be ready with the utilities (water, sewer, high-speed Internet) for the 200 plus acres. The companies will not have to wait."

"I think it will work and it will happen," he said. "It is going to take some courage and some vision, but if we do this it will pay big dividends."