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Chillicothe ranked 39th top micropolitan area in U.S.

CHILLICOTHE – In the scorecard of economic development, Chillicothe has put some more points on the board.

For the third time in the last five years and the second straight year, Chillicothe has been named to Site Selection Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Micropolitan Areas in the U.S. for its development performance in 2015. In order to be considered for the list, a locality must have completed individual projects that involved at least $1 million in capital investment, 20,000 square feet of space or created at least 20 new jobs.

In the Chillicothe area during 2015, a trio of projects — involving Mancor Industries, TYKMA Electrox and Vitatoe Industries — met the criteria and contributed to the city’s placement in a tie for 39th on the magazine’s list. Because that criteria involves only manufacturing, distribution, office and technology projects, the large investments in the Carlisle Building restoration and the Guernsey Crossing development did not contribute to…

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Scioto, Lawrence counties to partner

In recognizing the possibility for economic development along U.S. 52 in Scioto and Lawrence counties, the Southern Ohio Port Authority and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation have formed a partnership.

The two agencies have had a working relationship for a while, and their latest collaboration could result in the formation of an industrial park in Scioto County.

At its last meeting of 2015, the SOPA Board of Directors voted to purchase a 90-day option from Hadsell Development on an industrial park in Wheelersburg for $25,000.

Jason Kester, Executive Director of SOPA said having the option on the 522 Industrial Park fills a deficiency of the community.

“The number one deficiency of our community is a lack of available sites and buildings. Other than the five acres remaining in the Bob Walton Industrial Park, we do not have another industrial park in the county,” Kester said.

After meeting with the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, Scioto County Commissioners,…

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Belmont County Ethane Cracker To Bring Others, Official Believes

Most of the steel mills, glass factories and other plants that once employed tens of thousands along the Ohio River are closed, but officials believe landing the $5.7 billion ethane cracker complex in Belmont County would allow Ohio and West Virginia to become manufacturing powerhouses once again.

So plentiful is the oil and natural gas in the region that those discussing the matter in Wheeling Tuesday believe they are dealing with what can become known as “Shale Valley” – much like the San Francisco Bay area has become known as “Silicon Valley.”

“It’s a once in several lifetimes opportunity. If we get it right with the first facility, more will come,” John Molinaro, president and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, said during the discussion, which featured numerous elected officials, business leaders, labor representatives and members of the higher education community.

In September, officials with Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical agreed to…

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Riffle launches another plant expansion

CHILLICOTHE — Riffle Machine Works is expanding again.

Chris Manegold, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, appeared Monday on behalf of the company before Ross County Commissioners seeking approval of a 10-year, 50-percent tax abatement to construct a third 100,000-square-foot structure on the Riffle campus off Ohio 159. The expansion, which would initially be primarily used for warehouse space in anticipation of its use for future growth, is expected to bring an additional 10 jobs in its earliest uses.

Both Manegold and County Commissioner Jim Caldwell noted that the company, whose primary business involves assembly of exhausts and polishing parts for trucking companies but which has diversified into other automotive areas as its customer base has grown, has regularly delivered more than its job creation estimates.

The project will involved a $2.9 million investment for construction of the facility with about an additional $100,000 initially in fixtures and other items for the…

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