Columbiana Boiler expansion yields grants for city

COLUMBIANA — Future jobs created by the Columbiana Boiler expansion project have made it possible for the city to get grant funding for a portion of the city’s storm water project.

City Manager Lance Willard said the city was able to leverage the expansion project to get two separate grants from the state for a large portion of storm water infrastructure in that area.

Columbiana Boiler is located on West Railroad Street and plans to construct an additional building there in the future.

Willard said the city was able to get a $200,000 Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs and Commerce grant and a $200,000 Jobs Ohio/Ohio Development Services Agency Roadwork Development grant for the $1.4 million project to install storm water infrastructure there, in addition to improving the roads and installing curbs.

He explained that the grants were awarded on the basis that the business expansion project will retain 43 jobs and create 18 new jobs over the next three years.

The city has applied for a zero percent interest loan through the Ohio Public Works Commission to cover the remainder and will continue seeking additional grant funding.

Columbiana Boiler will be spending more than $5 million on its expansion project, Willard said.

“This is a perfect opportunity for us to team up and help complete this project and at the same time see it as a great opportunity for business retention and infrastructure that we can install that is much needed,” he said.

The city had already targeted that area for storm water improvements, and Willard said it will benefit the entire area of Columbiana-Lisbon Road.

“We know that it will cut down on the flooding of the underpass,” he said, adding that there is currently no storm water infrastructure in that area, other than a few culverts.

“We are excited about getting a major part of our storm water project done by doing this,” he said.

Willard also said the infrastructure project will not include rerouting of the electric utilities and the city is looking into ideas on how that can be done.