LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new natural gas power plant expected to open in the village in the next few years will bring hundreds of jobs to the Valley.
The plant will be located at an empty field at a Lordstown industrial park. The original location drew criticism because residents said it was too close to their homes.
“I believe that the company is now locating in the right place in an industrial-zoned area,” resident Karen Jones said.
If everything goes according to plan, the plant will provide approximately 500 construction jobs. Nearly two dozen well-paid positions will be available after the plant opens.
“This is probably one of the biggest investments in 30, 40 years. So it’s big,” Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said.
The plant would pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the area. It would help provide money to the Lordstown Local School District and help shore up the tax base across the Valley.
But some residents are still hesitant about whether the plant is a good thing for the village.
“I am really just wondering are we selling our souls type of thing just for a few dollars,” resident James Gates said.
State Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, has offered her help in the process. She said she will be a liaison between local government and state agencies in Columbus to make sure the clean energy power plant comes to the area.
“It is always something you hope for in a place you represent,” Cafaro said.
Bob Alff is one of the leading forces behind the plant coming to Lordstown. He said the process is moving full steam ahead and after the plant opens, it will be able to provide clean energy across the region.
“Electricity can’t be stored. It is generated as it is called on and disbursed. It goes where it is going to go,” Alff said.
The plant is expected to open in May of 2018.