Last month, we wrote that although it’s easy to see all of the things that are not going well in our communities, we sometimes fail to see the many other things are going right.
In Meigs County, Nidec Corp. announced its $3.2 million expansion and investment in Middleport’s Imperial Electric plant. That expansion added 18 new jobs to the local economy. It came about as a result of cooperation between local officials working with state officials and private industry.
Point Pleasant has embarked on an effort to do something about older buildings in town that are an eyesore, unsafe and probably used for illegal activity. Four such structures have come down in the last four months.
Gallia County has broken ground on a $1 million-plus project to improve its riverfront by adding an amphitheater and improving access for boaters. That project has been charged to Meigs County contractor, Pullins Excavation Inc. to do ground-prep work. The “new” riverfront will go a long way toward providing even more opportunity for visitors to come to town and, along with it, more dollars for our local businesses.
And Gallipolis recently opened the new Holzer Therapy & Wellness Center at 735 Second Ave. in the former Johnson Grocery Store. The facility approached the $2 million mark and was a major undertaking that couldn’t have occurred without the collaboration of the Holzer Heritage Foundation, Holzer Health System, outside donations from individuals and companies, and the Eastman family that donated the building.
The job cuts announcement earlier this month at the Gallipolis Development Center was a huge blow, but that battle isn’t yet finished. State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, is still engaged with Columbus legislators on the issue.
Smith, who was recently featured in the October edition of Columbus Monthly magazine and named “Most Effective,” “Hardest Working” and “Best Listener” by his Ohio Statehouse colleagues, is living up to that moniker. During a speech Tuesday night at the Gallia County Republican Party Rally at the Gallia County Fairgrounds, Smith made note of his displeasure with the GDC cuts.
“It’s frustrating. Those conversations are still ongoing. I sent a letter following that situation to the governor requesting a meeting. Quite frankly, they’re not real happy with me right now, but that’s OK,” Smith said. “I work for 117,000 people in the 93rd District. I don’t work for the governor. We will disagree. We have disagreed. We’re going to continue to fight for what we think is right and keep leading that charge.”
Prior to the rally, it was announced that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved economic development incentives for the expansion at the Gallipolis ElectroCraft facility, meaning the company has committed to creating 30 new jobs in Gallia County. Once the Job Creation Tax Credit agreement is solidified, it would kick in beginning January 2017, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency, and the company would have three years to “make good” on its job creation promise.
ElectroCraft Inc., according to its website, “specializes in dependable, application-engineered specialty fractional-horsepower motor and motion products.”
Job creation is happening all around us. That’s a good sign of progress in our book.