State panel approves Meigs County project financing


COLUMBUS — A state panel has approved financing of more than $1 million to support economic development in Meigs County.

The State Controlling Board’s approval on Wednesday to release $1.4 million from the Rural Industrial Park Loan program to the Meigs County Improvement Corporation will support financing for the purchase and construction of property at East Meigs Industrial Park in Tuppers Plains.

State Representative Jay Edwards was a leading advocate for reinstating the state’s Rural Industrial Park Loan Program. The program had been without funding for several years when Edwards helped secure $25 million for the initiative in last year’s state budget.

“This project will really help Meigs County and the surrounding area, and is exactly the type of project we had in mind when we worked to restart this program,” said Edwards (R-Nelsonville).

Edwards said the Meigs County project, and those in other rural communities, have been in the works for quite some time. With the economic impact of the coronavirus, Edwards said it’s especially important to take action to create new jobs in the region.

The Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation is proposing to invest $1.9 million total in the project, which includes construction of a 30,000-square-foot commercial speculative building on a 4.8-acre site, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

“On behalf of the Meigs County Commissioners and the Community Improvement Corporation, we appreciate this loan from Development Services and look forward to bringing new jobs and investment to the county” said Meigs County Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe. “We especially appreciate the work of Representative Edwards to fund this program and make this project possible.”

The State Controlling Board’s approval came on the same day the board took action for Ohio to receive $15 million in federal aid to combat the coronavirus, as well as action by the Ohio House and Ohio Senate on a major legislative package to help the state and local communities weather the impact of the coronavirus.

Information provided by State Rep. Jay Edwards.