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COLUMBIANA COUNTY Energy company answers questions



Published: Fri, June 1, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Company officials say the plant will pump millions of dollars into the economy.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- Dozens of people attended a public information meeting intended to provide details of a $600 million electric generation plant being proposed for Columbiana County.

The Thursday night session at David Anderson Junior-Senior High School was the first public forum regarding the plant, which was initially publicized late last year.

The meeting was carried out by Cogentrix Energy of Charlotte, N.C., which wants to build the natural gas-fired plant at a site along St. Jacob-Logtown road in Center Township. A secondary location is along state Route 45 in Salem Township.

The company expects to soon submit to the Ohio Power Siting Board a formal application for approval to build the plant.

If the plant is approved, construction could begin late this year.

The meeting was an informal gathering during which Cogentrix officials and plant consultants made themselves available for one-on-one discussions with members of the community.

What residents think: Several area residents attending the meeting said they view the plant proposal favorably.

"I like it a lot," said Mark Sullenberger of East Liverpool. "It will be good for economic development. Hopefully, it will keep us out of the jam we're seeing in California," which has an electric shortage, Sullenberger said.

Not everyone was pleased, however.

John and Dorothy Faloba said they built their home on rural Eagleton Road because they wanted to enjoy quiet, country living.

But both the primary and secondary locations for the plant are within a half-mile of their home.

"I don't care for the location of it," John Faloba said. "I don't want to look at stacks and emission clouds. I don't want to hear the noise or see the lights at night."

Economic impact: Earlier in the day, Cogentrix representatives offered a presentation to county officials and the press regarding an economic study of the plant's impact.

The study, conducted by Calypso Communications of Portsmouth, N.H., will be part of Cogentrix's application to the power siting board.

Building the plant will create an estimated 300 to 500 construction jobs over the more than two-year construction period.

leigh@vindy.com




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