COLUMBIANA, Ohio - A Columbiana County businessman is in the running for Ohio Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year.
Ninety three acres, which used to be an abandoned brown field on Esterly Road in Columbiana, has been turned into a thriving industrial site.
Jerry Stoneburner bought it at a bankruptcy auction. "I said, ‘Oh God, now what am I going to do.' I got 300 square feet of buildings and all I wanted was a railroad track. So we started from there and we started building."
First he and two other business partners put in Zarbana Industries a company where aluminum billets are made into products specified by various industries.
With help from the port authority, his son Lee, and the chamber of commerce Stoneburner has transformed Buckeye Transfer Realty luring business to the site.
In March, Santrol, a Fairmount Minerals company, moved 220- thousand tons of sand from train to truck to be used in the oil drilling process. Stoneburner invested 1.6 million installing additional rail line which was needed to attract Santrol. He plans to invest another 3.5 million expanding the rail line.
Stoneburner also brought in his tucking company, Better Management Corporation.
In August, Columbiana Water Systems intends to break ground on a recycling system that will process brine water so it can be used the fracking process.
"There are already six businesses here. There are plans for two additional businesses to be brought in later this year. So potentially, there are eight businesses here within this year," said Terry McCoy with the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce.
Stoneburner's work means jobs for over 100 people now, and up to 200 when the property is fully developed with investments of over 50 million dollars.
That's part of why the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce chose Stoneburner as its entrepreneur of the year and nominated him for the state honor.
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