LCPA seeks Foreign Trade Zone

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

SOUTH POINT - The Lawrence County Port Authority wants to add a new &#8220tool” to its economic development arsenal.

The agency has submitted an application to establish a general foreign-trade zone at The Point industrial park in South Point, a move that economic development leaders say would result in more jobs being brought to the area.

&#8220For this region, the foreign-trade zone would offer many great amenities,” Lawrence Economic Development Corporation president Bill Dingus said. &#8220It should be an asset for developing the Point Park.”

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The proposed zone would be the third of its type in the Charleston, W.Va., area. The site is owned by the LEDC, Biomass Energy LLC and M&M Service, Inc.

The application indicates a need in the area and several companies have expressed an interest in using zone procedures for warehousing/distribution activities.

The zone would create a specialized geographical area the Department of Customs would recognize as having the same responsibilities as does any international port, Dingus said.

This would mean international products could be brought into the park just as they would be received into any international port of entry - no taxes would be paid for products brought into the park - they would be imported, assembled (value would be added to them) and they would be exported out of the country.

The foreign trade zone would also aid in creating new jobs in the region because it would encourage the creation of employment, manufacturing and warehousing, Dingus said.

Jobs attributable to export industries grew 13.2 percent from 1987 to 1991 while total jobs grew only 7.9 percent during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In accordance with the FTZ board's regulations, a public hearing will be hosted at 2 p.m. Thursday at the South Point Community Center, located at 404 Second St. West.

Public comment on the application is invited from the community and economic development officials hope this will be the next step.

&#8220It is one of those milestones we have been working for,” Dingus said.