LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Plans for an $800 million dollar power plant have been revived in Lordstown. The project has been in the works for more than a year but conflicts about where it should be located had been holding things up.
Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill says those kinks have been worked out. The original location was near a residential area but the new plans put the plant in an industrial park on Henn Drive.
It’s a project that Hill has been working on for about a year. A new, gas-fired power plant that will bring new jobs and new tax dollars to Lordstown.
“We’re all excited. It’s been a long time coming,” said Hill.
Back in April, controversy about where the plant would be built stalled progress. Some neighbors were concerned with the initial plan which they said would’ve put the plant too close to homes in the area. So the company and the mayor got together and found a new location in an industrial park.
The Henn Parkway location is in the southeast corner of the village.
“There’s another building and trees so it shouldn’t have that much of an impact on any of the neighborhoods in Lordstown,” said Hill.
Construction will begin in the fall. That phase will last 30 to 36 months and employ about 500 skilled trades workers. After it’s finished, there will be up to 28 well-paying, full-time jobs at the plant.
However, the biggest boon is the help it will give Lordstown Schools: The company, Clean Energy Future, is expected to give the district $1 million a year.
“This would be a game changer for us,” said Lordstown Schools Superintendent, Terry Armstrong.
Armstrong said that money, along with renewal levies, would allow the district to put more resources into the classroom, as well as some great news for taxpayers.
“This would totally eliminate the need for any future new levies,” explained Armstrong.
The district has had to borrow money from a bank for the past three years just to make payroll and pay bills in the first quarter.
“If we had this money going into next year we would not need to do that anymore. So that’s how big of a deal it is to Lordstown,” said Armstrong.
Now, that security isn’t far off:
“Just waiting for all the is to get I’s dotted and T’s to get crossed,” said Hill.
There will be a public forum from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the Village administration building for those interested in hearing more about the project. State and local officials, and the company running the project, will be there to answer any questions.