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Port project key to growth

Lawrence County economic development officials have a few extra reasons to be happy this week. In fact, they have more than 9 million of them to be exact.

That is after the Lawrence Economic Development Corp received word that it tentatively received a $9.5 million dollar loan to develop a river port at The Point industrial park.

This will inject more growth into an already successful project to redevelop the 504-acre industrial park in South Point, opening the door to even more development there and across the entire county.

If this project meets the goals it is expected to, it has to rank among the most significant steps forward the county has taken in more than a decade.

Planned as a multi-faceted project, the port will accommodate the “Big 3″ when it comes to modes of transportation: rail, road and river.

With a total cost of more than $14.5 million, this project is expected to create 45 or more temporary construction jobs and as many as 75 permanent positions. This is a significant injection of what the region needs most— jobs.

We urge the state controlling board — the entity that will have final say over approval of these funds — as well as federal agencies reviewing applications for more than $3 million in funding, to take a good look at what this project will mean for our entire region.

If this project develops as it is expected, southern Ohio will be positioned well to take advantage of a resurgence of industry and manufacturing in the region.

And that is something for which everyone should be happy.