By Nancy Schaar
CARROLLTON – Carroll County Economic Development Director Tait Carter introduced Ed Looman, project manager for APEG (Appalachia Partnership for Economic Growth) and Mike Jacoby, vice president for APEG, to county commissioners Monday.
The two APEG representatives outlined the services they provide, noting APEG partners with Jobs Ohio and can provide tax incentives, training grants and other services to help commissioners encourage and prepare for business growth in the county. APEG covers 25 countys in the southeastern part of the state. Looman said he covers Carroll County and seven other counties in the upper area of the territory.
“We can help retain jobs in the county. We find the needs and try to help. We can’t help restaurants or retail stores, but we can help those who manufacture products and ship them out of the county,” said Looman.
The primary focus has to be land development. There must be land ready for a businesses to build and move in, according to Looman. He noted it is vital that sites are ready with water, sewer and infrastructure.
“This is a good time to prepare. The drilling jobs will go away. It is a good time to invest in the future and get the county ready for the growth that is to come,” said Looman.
“I agree. We need to make sure that our base is sound. We have been working on water, sewer, and our infrastructure,” said Commissioner Bob Wirkner.
Jacoby told of one city that extended village water and sewer to neighboring townships. The township residents then paid village income tax.
The pair noted Joint Economic Development contracts can lead to growth, but must be done before building projects begins.
“We have a need for good sites, good roads, good water and sewer and the need to be close to the rail lines,” said Jacoby.
Wirkner said it is important for residents to understand growth is important or the young people in the county will continue to move away. He acknowledged some residents do not want change or growth but they have to realize the county will experience decline if change and growth for new businesses does not happen.
In other business commissioners:
– LEARNED no bids were received for a mound style septic system that has already been approved.
– RECEIVED the dog pound report showing two impounded, two tagged and one redeemed.