EAST PALESTINE Businessman to develop plant site

The manufacturer hopes to take over the entire property within two years.
EAST PALESTINE -- Dormant since the 1980s, a six-acre former electric light plant is about to have new life.
City Manager Gary Clark said Bradley L. Strawser, owner of Leland Manufacturing, will develop the site for the manufacture of lids and gaskets for plastic and metal containers.
Council approved the sale Monday of the West Main Street property to Strawser, who is to make improvements to the buildings and create at least six jobs within six months.
City Law Director Bradley Allison said if Strawser is successful, he is to expand the operation to the other half of the property within two years. If the business does not succeed, Strawser must return the property to the city, Allison said.
About agreement: Under the agreement approved by council, the city will survey the property and empty the buildings, clean the property and replace a bridge over the creek on the property. The city will retain a pump house and well on the property.
The agreement states Strawser and the city will agree on conditions before developing the second half of the property.
Strawser is from out of state but has family in the area, Clark said. Before council's vote, Clark urged council to approve the deal because Strawser "is serious about this. He has purchased a home here."
Clark said the city owned and operated its own electricity generating facility until 1975, when environmental concerns prompted city officials to sell the operation to Ohio Edison for $3.5 million.
The light plant property has been dormant since Ohio Edison phased out the system in the 1980s and sold the property back to the city. The city has since used the buildings for storage.

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