Cooperation yields Harrison jobs

CADIZ – In Harrison County, a collaboration to upgrade a County Road 10 will result in improved infrastructure and job creation.

Jason Wilson, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, along with Lloyd MacAdam, district deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, met with Robert Sterling, Harrison County engineer, and the Harrison County Commissioners during the commissioners’ meeting to recognize the completion of the project and the success of the partnership.

“Upgrading County Road 10 has increased access for a local business and will create jobs. This project would not have been possible without the partnership among the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, the county and our office. It is a great example of what can happen when we work together toward a common goal,” said Jason Wilson, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia.

“How do we create public-private partnerships, how do we say look if the public can’t do it and the private can’t do it but maybe if we work together how can we do it?” Wilson addressed the board. “Today is one of those days, a perfect example of how things work.”

“How do we make it safe, how do we make it affordable, how do we make it work so we can create these jobs?” Wilson continued.

“We have 45 people working with a potential for more people working,” Wilson stated. “Every time we dig a shovel full of coal out of the ground there is a few dollars that get left here in the county, every time one of those trucks moves it needs maintenance, it needs fuel, every time they move somebody is in it, they need lunch or dinner or something. They buy a pair of boots and a jacket, today I guarantee they have a Carhartt on because it is cold outside.

“But these are the ways we build an economy. This is how we build Harrison County is we do it one job at a time, one opportunity at a time.”

Wilson presented a symbolic check for $107,000, representing a grant from the State Appalachian Development Program.

“You have many pictures here on the walls of the courthouse illustrating our state’s great history and let us include our checks today on our walls at the commissioners’ office to show the state’s involvement, the state’s support, and the state’s commitment to Harrison County to say we believe in you, we have an opportunity in this county and this state and we are going to work together and do great things, create jobs and make sure good Ohioans stay good Harrison Countians,” Wilson said.

“Partnering with communities to meet the transportation needs of growing businesses is extremely important to ODOT,” said MacAdam. “This project was valuable to us, because of the jobs created and the company’s investment in the region. By working together, the county was able to improve the volume and load carrying capacity of this road for commerce.”

“This project would not be a reality if it were not for Rob’s (Engineer Robert Sterling’s) vision,” MacAdam told the board as he presented a check for $175,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation to the engineer. The funds, in addition to a $175,000 Roadway 629 grant, funded the project.

“Improvements to County Road 10 allow Rosebud Mining Co. to safely transport coal from the new Vail Mine to the preparation plant in Tuscarawas County over a safe transportation route,” MacAdam explained, adding the critical mission of the Jobs and Commerce office from ODOT is putting people to work.

“From that coal washing facility it will be loaded on trains right there in Dennison. So this is putting people to work not only in Harrison County but all over the state of Ohio,” he said.

The State Appalachian Development Grants are designated for projects that will increase job opportunities for residents in the Appalachian region as well as improve the community infrastructure to encourage economic development activities.

MacAdam also related that his office is receiving calls from Harrison County talking about the mud on the roads. “I think it is a good thing because mud on the roads means progress. Things are happening.”

“Harrison County is right in the heart of the shale play,” MacAdam sated. “I feel it will be a good thing for the county, and we look forward to the upcoming economic development.”

“This project is a classic example of the success that is possible when we work together to utilize grant programs to facilitate true economic development and job creation,” said Greg DiDonato, executive director of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA). DiDonato was a principal in the East Ohio Panhandle Rail Line Anti-Privatization Project which saved the rail line which now transports the coal from the Vail Mine. He will be working with Wilson on the next phase of the transportation upgrade for the county. “We will be making improvements to our rail systems.”

This coordinates with the Genesee & Wyoming Inc. announcement that its wholly owned subsidiary, the Columbus & Ohio River Rail Road Co., has signed a long-term agreement to haul natural gas liquids from a new fractionation hub in Harrison County. The rail agreement was signed with Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC.

Utica East Midstream is currently building a fractionation plant to separate natural gas liquids in Scio. The railroad will construct a new 1-mile rail siding and rehabilitate a 3-mile storage track. Plans call for shipping 10,000 carloads of natural gas liquids from Scio annually.

We would like to thank these programs for providing the grants that allowed us to fund this project,” said board chair Don Bethel. “There will be a very positive impact in our county from this project and we look forward to partnering with OMEGA, the Governor’s Office of Appalachia and ODOT in future endeavors as the shale industry continues to grow and develop in Harrison County.”

In other business: Scott Blackburn notified commissioners that the county received an additional $4,400 in grant monies from the National Emergency Grant. The director of Job and Family Services stated that 20 employees were currently working under the grant funding.

The board approved Common Pleas Court budget items for 2013 including Community Corrections, PSI Grant and Victims Assistance Grant line items.

The board approved a correction in the Prosecutors DRETEC fund to an adjusted $12,500.

The board also approved a proposed line construction by Verizon along US 250 and along CR 41 to Adena and connecting to Georgetown.

Palmer can be reached at