A show of support

CADIZ – Ohio senator Lou Gentile met with various Harrison County officials and members of the United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) on Thursday to show support for the Mine Safety Training Center.

The training center, located on Industrial Park Road in Cadiz, is under threat of transition to Guernsey County from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

According to ODNR, the building is not up to code and it has been suggested that the training center could be moved to Cambridge.

Gentile and many Harrison County officials are opposed to this happening, and they strongly voiced their support of keeping the facility in Cadiz.

“This has been a great asset for this union, this county.

“My hope is that we can slow this down and come back to the table.

“I respect ODNR, but we want to emphasize how important this facility is and how important mine safety training is”, Gentile said.

County commissioners Dale Norris, Don Bethel, and Bill Host all attended the conference to support the training building remaining in Cadiz. Norris stated, “We oppose the facility leaving Harrison County. Code violations should be addressed, but it should stay because this is the center of coal country.” Host said that “We’re all in support of the mine training remaining here in Harrison County.” He also mentioned the news that ODNR wants to move the training facility is “disappointing, to say the least.” Mayor Ken Zitko, a UMWA member, said “this is a state of the art facility, and we would like to keep it.”

Sherriff Ron Myers said that the facility is used not only for Mine Safety Training, but also for law enforcement training, including the K-9 unit. Myers also said the building “benefits the whole county.”

Gentile also stated that he wants to make sure all parties in this matter are represented, including local officials, United Mine Workers, and the coal industry. Gentile emphasized that having the Mine Safety Training Building in Cadiz provides a great economic impact for the county, bringing people from all over the region to shop at local businesses.

Warner may be reached at mwarner@timesleaderonline.com