Ridge Tool and Colgate-Palmolive expansion plans also discussed at CIC meeting
American Electric Power Ohio has announced plans to construct a new service center and office building on Cadiz Road east of Cambridge near the Interstate 77 interchange.
That news was delivered by Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation Executive Director Norm Blanchard during a CIC meeting Friday.
"No contracts have been signed at this time for the actual work, but they have applied for the building permits and I have been given permission to release that information," Blanchard said.
The cost to build the AEP Cambridge Service Center is estimated to be nearly $20 million, according to Blanchard.
An employee at the Southeast Ohio Building Department in Marietta confirmed the company obtained three permits for the construction of the service center and two sheds described as open storage facilities.
The property is owned by Ohio Power Co.
The proposed facility has been compared to an AEP center adjacent to I-70 in Belmont County.
The architect for the project is listed as MS Consultants Inc. of Columbus.
Blanchard also discussed expansion plans at Ridge Tool and Colgate-Palmolive.
"Ridge Tool has extended their lease with the landlord through 2029 and full expansion plans are due by 2025," he said. "That's good news. We were concerned if their lease ran out they might not expand here."
The company is working with Guernsey County officials to lease an additional 10 acres adjacent to its current location for expansion.
Blanchard said Phase III of a three-part expansion plan at Colgate-Palmolive is still in discussion among company officials.
The company has purchased an additional 14 acres next to the 72 acres at its current location to make expansion possible.
"They have purchased all the land around the building," Blanchard said. "They have what they need to complete an expansion project."
Colgate-Palmolive previously invested $1.2 million in machinery and equipment during Phase I for the production of liquid hand soap at the Cambridge facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion created 24 new jobs.
Phase II reportedly will create eight jobs and $667,000 in payroll with a $20 million capital investment.
Initiatives to fill the former Fabri Form and Pomegranate properties in or near Byesville are underway, according to Blanchard.
The Fabri Form property has 60,000-square feet available and the purchase price for the Pomegranate building on Southgate Road has been lowered to $250,000.
"The problem with the Pomegranate site is the soil surface is extremely unstable due to previous use as a coal processing facility," Blanchard said. "It would require a lot of site preparation work."
A $530,428 renovation project at Seneca Lake Marina was discussed.
The plan calls for the existing wood deck and deck structure to be replaced with a pre-engineers structure and sidewalk ramps for Americans With Disabilities access.
Blanchard also provided updates regarding plans for expansion at Ohio Bridge in Cambridge, the county's strategic plan, work at the Otto Luburgh site on Wintergreen Road, and the Guernsey County Power Plant.
The power plant remains on target for a cold opening in the spring with operations starting in the fall of 2022.
A $2.1 million funding request through Congressman Bill Johnson's office is still awaiting U.S. Senate approval. The funds are for a $3,376,269 projects at the D.O. Hall Business Park that includes $2,615,949 for site preparation and $760,300 for wetland mitigation.
A parking lot constructed near the FedEx facility south of Cambridge enabled the company to hire 140 new drivers and package handlers, according to Blanchard.
Mike Jacoby, president of Ohio SE Economic Development, gave a brief presentation regarding development efforts within the 25-county region served by the not-for-profit agency.
One of the topics he discussed was inclusion grants that help small companies with small projects.
Blanchard pointed out D&J Precision Machine in Cambridge is a success story for the inclusion grants after the company received a $25,000 grant to improve its computer system.
Jacoby also praised Guernsey County officials for their willingness to work together.
"We have a great partnership with Guernsey County and the officials here work really well together," he said. "You have a great track record for success."
He also alerted officials that JobsOhio has new programs to help communities.
During a roundtable session, officials representing Guernsey County Community Development Corporation, City of Cambridge, Guernsey County, Byesville, Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce and the East Guernsey Local School District provided updates regarding recent activities.
Originally published by The Daily Jefferson.