A week after announcing three shale-related companies had set up shop in Jefferson County, Progress Alliance Executive Director Ed Looman told his board of directors Tuesday they were scheduled to show three other parcels to a high profile client.
Looman said the meeting was scheduled to take place sometime Wednesday and there are "a couple deals in the works" at the county industrial park as well.
"We have a shale-related company taking a serious look at the county for its short-term and long-term home," he said after Community Improvement Corp. meeting, held this month at the Pugliese Training Center a Eastern Gateway Community College. "Of the nine sites they're considering, we have three. Will we get it? I don't know. Do I hope we get it? Sure."
Last week, state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, said funding was is in the works to help an unidentified business in Jefferson County construct a new building in the county's industrial park.
Though no one is willing to say who is planning a move, Cera said $360,000 had been released by the Ohio Controlling Board for the project.
The low-interest loan would be channeled through the Community Improvement Corp., Progress Alliance's governing board.
Another $120,000 Development Contingency Grant was considered separately and approved, Looman said. Though there's still paperwork to be done, he said they can now proceed with efforts to relocate the existing business to the industrial park.
He said the deals they're working on now would involve about 12 acres of industrial park lands, "and there's some interest in our other acreage." He said that, coupled with construction of the new state highway garage nearby, has generated buzz in the development community.
"We have a couple deals in the works at the industrial park that will lead to job retention and job creation," he said. "It will have a major impact on our economy, a step in the right direction. ... But we're not in the hunt if we don't get cooperation from the county commission, the cities, villages and townships, and the people who own the buildings and lands."
Looman, meanwhile, said another shale-related company could be opening an operations center in Steubenville in a matter of weeks.
"We're starting to see the fruits of our labors," Looman said. "Folks are landing here and they're starting to create jobs. They're bringing some outside folks in, but they'll only have outside folks until our own folks are ready."