Two new businesses locating to Jefferson Co.

STEUBENVILLE – Two new businesses tied to the oil and gas industry are moving to the Jefferson County Industrial Park, it was announced during Thursday’s Jefferson County commissioners’ meeting.

Ed Looman, director of Progress Alliance, told commissioners the alliance had reached an agreement with Premiere Pump, an arm of KAMAC Inc., and North American Services Group to locate in the Jefferson County Industrial Park. Both businesses combined will eventually employ close to 125 individuals, Looman said.

“It’s a good day for Jefferson County,” said Looman of the deals. “We could be looking at job creation of 125 or more.”

Premiere Pump, a manufacturer of industrial pumps looking to cater to the emerging oil and gas drilling industry and headquartered in Cleveland, eventually will employ 20 to 30 people and build a 5,000-square-foot facility using local contractors on 4.8 acres of land at the park, said Looman. The land will be purchased from the county at $10,000 per acre, he added.

North American Services Group, which also is seeking to cater to oil and gas concerns and provides industrial cleaning services, will be moving its operations from Follansbee to the park and expanding its operations, according to Looman. The company plans on constructing a 15,000-square-foot facility on nearly 10 acres at the park, and Looman said the land will be gifted to the company on the contingent it employ at least 60 people by the end of three years of operations. He added the company estimates it will employ about 96 individuals by its third year of operations at the park.

During Thursday’s meeting, commissioners signed agreements made between the companies and Progress Alliance which transfers the land from the county to the agency. The county still will receive funds from the sale of the land.

Commissioners said they were delighted by the news and expressed gratitude to Progress Alliance and the businesses.

“We appreciate the fact (the businesses) are willing to locate to Jefferson County,” said Commissioner Tom Graham.

Commissioner Tom Gentile echoed Graham’s sentiments.

“We’ve had some successes here and there, and we’re excited they are setting up shop here,” said Commissioner Dave Maple.

In other matters:

Shannan Gosbin, Jefferson County sanitary engineer, told commissioners plans were proceeding on construction of a water distribution booster station in Brilliant to service that end of Jefferson County. Gosbin said the change was necessary because the present booster station wasn’t developed to handle the amount of water customers served. During the meeting, Gosbin asked commissioners to sign a $275,000 contract with Malcolm Pernie Inc. for engineering services for the bidding and construction phases of the $3.5 million project. The contract would cover clarifying bid documents, drawing up some bid specifications, assistance in evaluation of bids and providing some onsite construction supervision, according to Gosbin.

The project is being funded by a low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and work should begin this October of this year and take up to one year for completion, according to Gosbin.

Commissioners signed the agreement pending approval from the Jefferson County prosecutor’s office. At the time of the signing, commissioners expressed they wanted an opinion from the prosecutor because the contact wasn’t advertised for public bidding.

“We can get that approval in a very timely manner,” said Graham.

Commissioners heard a proposal from Jason Peterson and Tony Colangelo, representatives of Glacial Energy of Pittsburgh. The two said the county could save funds by switching to the energy broker to provide electric for all government county concerns. Peterson said the county currently is being charged 52 separate rates from AEP. He added the county could opt for either a fixed rate for one year or an indexed, variable rate on a month-to-month basis.

After asking questions on the matter, commissioners decided to consider one of the two proposals.

Commissioners received a letter from the Warren Township Lions Club thanking them for support of construction of a gazebo in Warren Township Park.

Gentile said he recently visited the park, adding the gazebo was “beautiful. It was four communities working together on that project that beautifies the entire area.”

Commissioners Graham and Maple agreed.

It was announced the Jefferson County Courthouse would be closed Wednesday in observance of Independence Day.