By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Supporters of a $600 million electric power plant being proposed for Columbiana County are writing a state agency that will be considering approval of the facility.
Local elected officials, state and federal legislators, and business leaders have written the Ohio Power Siting Board in recent weeks, saying the idea being put forth by Cogentrix Energy Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., is a good one.
Cogentrix wants to begin construction of the natural gas-fired plant late this year.
The primary site is along St. Jacob-Logtown Road in Center Township. The secondary location is along state Route 45 in Salem Township.
The power siting board will determine whether to approve the plant's site and design.
"The direct and indirect economic benefits of this investment for Columbiana County ... are projected to be close to $750 million," Center Township trustees Ken Schreffler, Greg Shively and Charles Kidder wrote to the siting board.
"We believe the proposed project will be a significant benefit to Columbiana County and the region," county commissioners added.
New jobs: The commissioners told the siting board that building the plant is expected to create 300 to 500 construction jobs during the two-year building period.
Once the plant is operational, it's expected to provide 25 to 40 full-time permanent jobs with an annual payroll expected to exceed $1.5 million, commissioners said.
"By generating enough energy for 450,00 homes, Cogentrix will provide a much-needed boost to our electricity grid," wrote state Sen. Greg DiDonato of Dennison, D-30th, whose district includes Columbiana County.