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Lordstown OKs pact for energy center

LORDSTOWN – Village officials are expecting to receive good news Friday as all necessary paperwork, money and property transfers for the $890 million Lordstown Energy Center are expected to be finalized.

Mayor Arno Hill said at Monday’s Village Council meeting that officials also will be approving all necessary ordinances related to the project this week.

”This is a really exciting time for the village. There are a lot of other communities around us who are looking at us and wondering what we are doing right,” he said.

He said all financial closings are to be finalized Friday in New York City. Hill said the village anticipates construction of the project to begin 10 days after Friday. Work will begin in early April 2016 and is expected to be completed in June 2018.

Council approved an ordinance entering into an enterprise zone agreement with Clean Energy Future Lordstown LLC for a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years on the assessed value of real and tangible property tax.

Hill said the company is planning to have 19 full-time employees with an annual payroll of $3.4 million.

The Trumbull County commissioners also are scheduled to act on the tax abatement agreement at their meeting Wednesday.

Solicitor Paul Dutton said the company agreed to a tax donation agreement with Lordstown schools

”They are giving them cash in lieu of the taxes. Over the 15 years of the project, the schools will receive $18 million, which is spelled out in the agreement,” said Dutton.

Hill said as part of the tax donation agreement, once operations have started at the center, the first five years the schools will receive $1 million annually, the second five years, $1.25 million per year, and the third five years, $1.5 million per year.

”While the project is under construction, the schools will receive three $500,000 payments. They will have their first one after the financial closing this Friday,” he said.

Among the needed ordinances passed unanimously by council on Monday were:

l Water service and supply agreements with Niles and Warren cities to provide water to the village, which in turn will provide water to the energy center;

l Wastewater agreements with Warren to provide sewage treatment for the center and also operations and maintenance of the Eastside sanitary sewer district if there are any sewer issues. The Eastside sanitary sewer will get the water from the center to the treatment plant in Warren ;

l A permanent easement for running powerlines over Penn-Parkway Road to the center;

l A reimbursable agreement for engineering, legal, and construction costs related to the project.

Hill said money will given by the company to the school district to tear down the old elementary school at the corner of Salt Springs Road and Tod Avenue, which is no longer used by the district.

In other action Wednesday, council:

l Heard from Hill of plans to meet with fire officials and council’s safety committee about staffing the ambulance full-time because of an increased volume of calls, including from General Motors;

l Purchased a 2017 International Truck from Rush Truck Centers in Cincinnati at $77,139 through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s cooperative purchasing program;

l Approved an agreement with Metalico of Youngstown to serve as the village’s salvage yard. Officials said the company will pay the village $100 per ton;

l Were informed by Street Superintendent Dale Grimm that 900 feet of 12-inch pipe was installed in the village to replace aging sewer lines on Lyntz Road;

l Heard from Recreation Director Marty Gilbert of having background checks on new employees be done by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at the Eastwood Mall;

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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