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Industrial park gets financial boost from EDA

The United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration

has approved a $1,570,000 investment for The Point Industrial Park in South Point.

The correspondence from the EDA was received and filed during yesterday’s Lawrence County Commission meeting. In the letter written to Commission President Jason Stephens, David A. Sampson, assistant secretary for economic development, stated the investment will be used for constructing waterlines, sanitary sewers, and roads to develop the park.

Roger Haley, park manager, said Congressman Ted Strickland notified him May 14 that the investment had been awarded. He was very excited upon hearing the news because without this, there would be no money for the first phase of the park construction, which consists of opening up 179 acres of land for use and constructing the waterlines, sewers and roads.

The site was purchased by the Lawrence County Development Corporation in February 2001. The Point Industrial Park is the largest Lawrence County project of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone, Haley said. He added the largest amount of money for purchasing the land came from Empowerment Zone funds.

&uot;The whole purpose of this is job creation,&uot; said Haley.

He said the purpose of building the park is to market the area to companies that will bring high-paying jobs.

In the letter, Simpson wrote, &uot;President Bush is committed to ensuring that no community or demographic group is excluded from the opportunity to achieve the American dream. To that end, this EDA investment will serve as a foundation for future economic successes that will serve as a foundation for future economic successes that will benefit both families and businesses in Ohio.&uot;

However, a report written in early February by Associated Press writer Frederic J. Frommer, stated that President Bush’s new budget proposal eliminates funding for Empowerment Zones.

&uot;Obviously, if we lose the empowerment zone, we would not have the funding to go forward with the second phase of development,&uot; Haley said.

He added that losing the Empowerment Zones would not affect the first phase of construction, but could hurt further development. Amelia A. Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune