Celebration to declare The Point ready to use

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

SOUTH POINT - It seems fitting that Wednesday's "Ready to Use Celebration" at The Point industrial park is only the tip of the iceberg of

great things to come, as far as local leaders are concerned.

The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce will host a public celebration in the 504-acre industrial park in South Point between the Ohio River and U.S. 52 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday as a way to commemorate the historic event.

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In essence, the event, which includes a host of activities from a ribbon-cutting for the new 42,000 square-foot spec building to some down-home cooking, was sponsored to celebrate the past and the future, said Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the LEDC which owns the property.

"The Point offers opportunities for the whole region," Dingus said of the property that was formerly home to Allied Chemical and South Point Ethanol. "When you put the 500 acres of available land with the seven miles of railroad, three-quarters a mile of riverfront and the high access to an interstate highway, truly this is an opportunity to restore some manufacturing jobs to our county."

South Point-based company Bill Enyart & Sons Contracting Inc. were awarded the $2.36 million road, sewer and water construction project throughout the park while Portco Inc. built the spec building on the County Road 1 side of the park.

Dingus said the LEDC has been working with three prospective tenants for the building and that he remains confident it will soon be occupied. Also, new scales will be installed in the park, he added.

"All the pieces are here to really initiate some great things," he said.

A host of state, local and federal officials have been invited to attend the event.

Activities begin at 11:15 with a flag raising, pledge and prayer. The ribbon-cutting and formal dedication will begin at 11:30. At noon, the South Point High School band will lead the first march down the new roadway.

After lunch, a special ceremony will recognize all the former employees of South Point Ethanol and Allied Chemical. For Dingus, this holds special significance as his father and brother both worked at Allied.

"I know dozens of people who worked there. That place was their lives," Dingus said. "To me, it was very important this celebration included them and made them a part of what we are doing."

Ohio University Southern still plans to build its Center for Leadership and Training on the U.S. 52 side of the park. Cost overruns have delayed that project from taking off.

Dingus said he expects Microsoft representatives to make an announcement regarding donations of equipment to the center.