Energy company proposes multi-million dollar plant in Lordstown - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Energy company proposes multi-million dollar plant in Lordstown

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio - A proposed multi-million dollar project, could bring jobs to The Valley along with an economic ripple effect, estimated to be in the billions.

Lordstown residents packed a village meeting, Monday evening. On the agenda was a presentation from Clean Energy Future, a Boston based company, interested in building a power plant along Salt Springs Road. The proposed plant would convert natural gas into electricity.

The President of Clean Energy Future, William Siderewicz, said the company is considering the Lordstown area because of several coal plants that have recently closed across Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

"They basically can't afford to adjust their own equipment to meet the new environmental standards, so rather than spend that money they've elected to shut down," said Siderewicz. "As a result there is a shortage of electricity and so the shortage happens to be in the area where these coal plants are shutting."

Siderewicz, said the regional Shale Boom is not a primary reason for selecting the area but an added bonus.

"In actuality we would propose this plant whether there was a Shale Boom or not, that fact that there is a Shale Boom is actually a bonus to the local community and the region because it's gas that might have otherwise come from Louisiana or Alberta, Canada," said Siderewicz.

If the project becomes reality, it would be an investment of about $800-million.

The project would generate about 550 constructions jobs, and about 28 permanent jobs.

Siderewicz said, the permanent jobs would have a total annual payroll of $3.2 million dollars plus benefits.

"Our plant should provide to the local community here in Lordstown almost $100-million of additional tax revenue," said Siderewicz. "That money would go to enhance the school system primarily. In most communities if the school is strong and growing and prosperous, property values in general go up."

Siderewicz also discussed the potential for an economic ripple effect.

"A project of this scale generates a ripple effect in a positive way of about $4 billion in the local community," said Siderewicz. "So if Lordstown doesn't want $4 billion in Northeastern Ohio that's there choice but that's really what's at stake."

Still, residents in attendance Monday night had mixed opinions.

"I think it's a good thing for Lordstown and I would like to see it go through, but of course everything has to be taken with caution," said Resident Donald Koches.

"All the truck traffic going into Salt Springs (Road), there is no in-or-out of there unless you come down Tod (Avenue,) run across Salt Springs (Road.) I think it's going to affect the community," said Resident James Gades. "Where are they going with all this traffic?"

"I'm not against, but I'm not for," said Resident Lee Rice. "I'm open to what they have to present and also the ability to do a little research and see what I can educate myself on, as far as the questions I need to know to ask to get the information needed."

Before the plant can become a reality, the Village must first rezone the proposed property from general businesses and residential to industrial.

Even then, there are several more steps that need to take place before the project is a guarantee.

"One of the issues people don't like is if we were to change the zoning then we cant change it back, and anything could go in there," said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill.

The Village Council is expected to vote on the proposed rezoning at their May meeting.






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