Agencies join forces

LISBON — In a continued mission to work together, the Columbiana County Port Authority approved a lease agreement with the county Economic Development Department officially renting its space in the Port Authority’s newest location on Lincole Place here.

During Monday’s Port Authority meeting, Tad Herold, who is the director of the Economic Development Department and sits on the Port Authority board, abstained from the vote, but did offer to either leave the room while the board deliberated or stay to answer any questions the board had about the one-year lease.

The Economic Development Department will use four offices within the Port Authority’s building at 7860 Lincole Place. The space is 1,090 square feet and will cost the office $1,200 monthly and will include electric, gas, telephone, internet, water, sewer, garbage service, cleaning service, maintenance and repairs to the common areas in the building and HVAC. The lease began July 1.

Herold said the Economic Development Department, which includes the land bank and the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) completely have moved out of their former location at 130 Maple St. However, the county Planning Commission and county Park District will continue to use the Maple Street location.

Additionally, the Economic Development Department will continue to maintain a presence in the county courthouse, where they occupy offices in the basement, according to Herold.

Port Authority Executive Director Penny Traina called it one of the final stages of forming the Economic Development Consortium. Traina said it already has helped to make things run more efficiently with those calling the Lincole Place offices able to speak to everyone they may need. It also helps with collaboration between the departments with Traina and Herold able to work together more and deal with those calling at the same time, instead of waiting until they get together at a later time to discuss those calls.

On June 21, Traina said the Port Authority received the tax exempt status through the Ohio Department of Taxation for the Lincole Place location, which will begin with the tax year 2019. The Port Authority moved into the Lisbon location from Leetonia in November.