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LEDC up for $9.5M loan

SOUTH POINT — The Point industrial park is up for a $9.5 million Logistics and Distribution Stimulus loan that will provide a massive boost to the development at the South Point site and create as many as 75 jobs.

“For years we have been planning an intermodal port,” Dr. Bill Dingus, director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation, said after hearing the news about the loan. “We see that intermodal facility as the real catalyst for the development of manufacturing. From our vantage point we see this as a perfect location where the Heartland Corridor joins the Ohio River.”

The Point was recommended for a $9.5 million loan by the state Development Financing Advisory Council and is pending approval by the State Controlling Board.

That decision is expected between 30 and 60 days. The loan may be forgiven when the project is completed if it creates the specified number of jobs.

An intermodal facility will allow the movement of product by water, rail and truck into and out of Lawrence County, enabling manufacturers from inside and outside the county to transport their products through The Point.

Monday afternoon the state announced the recommendation of the loan for the Lawrence County project.

That may be matched with $3.2 million sought from the federal government.

The application for that money is already in process.

The entire project is expected to cost $14.5 million, with $1.8 million coming from the LEDC.

Creating the facility is expected to be completed in two years in three phases.

The first phase will be the liquid loading facility where existing 2 million-gallon tanks will be rehabilitated along with expanding an existing dock at the site.

This part of the project will allow the transferring of product from truck and rail to the Ohio River.

The second phase will focus on creating a rail spur along the Ohio River with the third phase the actual building of the port, Dingus said.

During the construction process, Dingus estimates the creation of 45 or more temporary jobs with permanent jobs directly tied to the facility ranging from 50 to 75.

“And eventually hundreds and hundreds of indirect jobs,” the director said. “In Lawrence County things are working well for everyone. It is just a one-team cooperative effort by everyone working together. It will help every manufacturing shop in the region at some time.”

So far joining the LEDC in support of the development of the facility are a number of local businesses who would be using the transportation system: Superior Marine Ways, McGinnis Inc. and Engines Inc. of Ohio, all of whom are located in The Point.

Also at the industrial park are M&M Mailing, Mid-Valley Supply, Applied Technologies, Mercier’s, M&M Services and Calgon Carbon.