The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 21, 2013

Sen. Sherrod Brown to attend Plant C celebration Monday

By STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — State Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, along with several other local and state dignitaries, will attend a ground-breaking and celebration of progress for the Plant C renovation, Monday.

Ashtabula County Port Authority Executive Director Sean Ratican said the event will be a culmination of hard work that has been put forth by many people for the renovation of the former First Energy Plant C pumping station and a celebration of economic development in the county.

“It represents what we can be as we move forward in the county,” he said.

Ratican said a lot of the interior infrastructure in the plant is original. It was constructed in the late 1940s and into the early 1950s.

“We are celebrating the infrastructure of one of our county’s economic development tools,” he said.

The public is invited to attend the event as well as local and regional community members.

“Come out and celebrate our progress so far and get a glimpse of what we’re doing in the future,” Ratican said.

When the county purchased Plant C in 2006, Ratican said 1,200 jobs were saved as a result.

Since 2006, the Port Authority has worked with state and federal agencies to redevelop Plant C. The county has spent more than $7 million remediating environmentally hazardous materials off of the site. Another $3 million will be put into the plant with the renovation of the pumping system, Ratican said.

The county was recently awarded a $1.55 million grant through the U.S. Department of Economic Development to help cover the cost of the project. The project will replace more than 100 linear feet of pipeline within the plant, renovate four water pumps and provide new electrical switch gear and feeder lines into the plant.

“This truly is an event that will celebrate the success of this public and private partnership,” he said. “We’re celebrating not only the preservation of 1,200 jobs, but the prospect of creating more jobs in the future.”

The event will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Plant C in Ashtabula Township, just east of Lake Shore Park.