Port Authority eyes industrial sites for development


Many people are setting goals they'd like to accomplish for 2018, and those in public office are no different.

The Jefferson County Port Authority believes 2018 can be a big year and they're setting the goals to match.

The office is located inside the Towers Building in Steubenville, but the Port Authority’s reach goes well beyond the office.

Executive Director Evan Scurti breaks down what could be in store for 2018.

“2018 could be pivotal for the whole valley,” he said.

That kind of optimism is in the air due to the increased activity of oil and gas in the region.

“The exciting thing to track, and we keep hearing about in reports, is the plastics and chemical sector,” Scurti said. “That's the big downstream focus of these cracker plants.”

With a trickle-down effect likely to happen, Scurti says

the county is in a prime spot.

“A great position for everything from manufacturing to light assembly type work, even to logistics,” Scurti said.

This is why one of their goals in 2018 is to make sure their sites are ready for potential development.

A 26-acre lot at the industrial park is already being delineated.

“Some mitigation strategies, some other land development and infrastructure plans for that part of the park,” Scurti said.

There are 14 other acres available on three different lots in the park--all owned by the county.

“One of which, right across the street here, a nice flat 5 acres behind Bully Tools that's government owned,” Scurti said. “100,000 square feet is doable on these sites here in the park.”

But the port's 2018 goals don't start and end with the industrial park. They plan on improving infrastructure in several spots throughout the county.

“Private and publicly owned sites, so again, tracking several grant programs that can apply to various improvement areas for all of those sites,” Scurti said.

“You have to have your infrastructure prepped, because if you have a crumbling road next to the sites, you can't get the product out to market."

The Port Authority also plans on reaching out to developers in the Pittsburgh area to showcase what they have here locally. Site prep, marketing and redevelopment will be the tasks at hand as the Port Authority continues to move forward in 2018.

“The inquiries are coming, and we're continuing to get ready on the ground as well as with our marketing materials, our new website,” Scurti said. “I think we have a very good face to put forward to the larger markets as they look at us."

Scurti says there are already capital investments privately being discussed.

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