CANTON The Stark County commissioners are increasing by 80 percent its support for the Stark Economic Development Board.
The commissioners Wednesday approved a new three-year agreement with the not-for-profit board, whose mission is to attract and retain jobs in Stark County.
Under the terms of the agreement, which run retroactively from Jan. 2 to January 1, 2021, the commissioners will pay the board $225,000 a year, an increase from $125,000 a year.
“This helps us expand our outreach to current businesses we are trying to get in front of,” Stark Economic Development Board CEO Ray Hexamer said. “If we get businesses when they are expanding, we can help them with Jobs Ohio grant money. With the reorganization of our efforts and all of our partners, two years ago we added $135,000 in Jobs Ohio grants and this year, through September, we have $2.3 million in TeamNEO and Jobs Ohio grants. That’s money that goes back into the community for projects like opening Union Metal or expanding Sare Plastics.”
Additionally, the funding will help pay for the SEDB to:
- Establish an online portal or website, dubbed Business 911, where local businesses, especially those with annual revenue of $7 million or more, can get connected to other businesses, which could be potential suppliers, vendors or customers. Businesses also could seek assistance through this platform from the Development Board and local area chambers of commerce.
- Market the Stark County area with a focus on plastics manufacturing, petrochemical and food processing to persuade employers in those industries to relocate or create jobs in the county.
- Hire an additional business and retention specialist.
Hexamer told the commissioners IML Containers established an office at East Center Drive NE near Columbus Road NE. and hiring people at a starting pay of $22 an hour. An Ohio Means Job bulletin says the company is searching for an office administrator, line packers and injection molding technicians and is interviewing candidates at its local office from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
“We will use the funding to do outreach in targeted areas: food processing, petro chemical and plastics and manufacturing; those are things that are in our wheelhouse,” Hexamer said.
Separately, the commissioners also Wednesday:
- Approved natural gas rates from October 2018 to September 2019 established by the county program’s gas aggregation broker. Customers of Dominion East Ohio, who have not opted out of the county program will pay $3.47 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. Columbia Gas of Ohio customers will pay $4.275 per thousand cubic feet. The supplier is IGS Energy.
- Approved a recommended Halloween trick-or-treat observance of 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28.
- Approved agreements with the Ohio Department of Transportation related to two projects. The first project involves replacing bridge guardrails with $200,000 in federal funding. The second project involves replacing the bridge on Weimer Drive over Black Run at an estimated cost of $754,000. Federal funding will cover about 80 percent of the costs.
- Approved an agreement with Palmer Engineering to perform inspections of county bridges for no more than $47,662.
- Awarded the contract to rehabilitate the Alabama Avenue bridge to Black Horse Bridge Construction of Norton for $413,679. Federal funds will cover 80 percent of the cost, with county gas and motor vehicle registration fees covering the rest.
- Awarded a long-line pavement marking project to Oglesby Construction of Norwalk for $170,482. Federal funds will cover $150,000 of the cost with local count funds covering the rest.
- Awarded the contract to install kennel enclosures as part of the Stark County Dog Warden’s office renovation to Shor-Line of the Schroer Manufacturing Company for $151,141, which exceeded the architect’s estimate of $145,000. The county’s permanent improvement fund is covering the costs.
- Awarded the contract to replace the roof of the Midtown Building on Third Street SE in Canton to Ray Roofing and Supply for $444,000, less than the architect’s estimate of $525,000. Funds from bonds which will be repaid with federal grant funds will cover the cost. The building houses most of the offices of the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services.
- Approved Wilmot annexing about 13 acres of a property near the Amish Door under an expedited annexation from Sugar Creek Township. Both Wilmot and the township reached an annexation agreement.
- Approved a contract with MS Consultants to do geotechnical work as part of the preparations to expand the Mount Pleasant Detention Basin in Plain Township, to relieve flooding in areas around the Zimber Ditch in western North Canton and western Plain Township.
- Approved spending no more than $163,967k from the Permanent Improvement Fund for the County Clerk of Courts “Security and Surveillance System Upgrade Project.”