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County remains in the running for two natural gas fired power plants

By Carol McIntire

Carroll County is still in the running to land two natural gas power plants.

County Commissioner Jeff Ohler said Monday during a commissioners meeting, two companies that have options to purchase land north of the village are “still interested in moving to Carroll County.”

One of the companies has signed an option on 50 acres of land in the Commerce Park and the other has optioned land adjacent to the park.

“Both companies are moving forward with the permitting process,” Ohler said. “There is a good chance we could be both because one is pursuing an agreement to sell electricity to AEP and the other to First Energy. “

He said both are still about 16 to 18 months out on the process, but it looks promising.

“Both companies will need water,” he noted. “We aren’t sure the village of Carrollton can supply enough water for both so as you found out last week, we are looking at bringing water and sewer from Malvern with what we are calling the Northern Corridor Project.

“We have to make plans and be prepared to move forward. Ralph (Castellucci, Carroll County Environmental Services [formerly BT/M Sewer], superintendent) and I are working on grants as if both companies are coming here.”

Ohler noted the need for natural gas fired power plants is increasing with the closing of coal-fired power plants.

“We all know they are shutting down coal-fired plants,” he said. “Because of those shutdowns, Bob (Wirkner) is working with electricity companies on an energy curtailment program for the county to participate in.”

Wirkner added that the electric power companies expect the demand for electricity over the next few years to exceed what is available on the grid. Therefore, they are working with counties that have backup generators to initiate a program whereby the counties will forego electricity from the company and use the generator during periods of peak demand.

Ohler previously announced the interest of the two companies, which plan to use natural gas from area gas and oil wells to produce electricity. At that time, he said Carroll County provided a prime location because of its proximity to natural gas transmission lines and also to power lines where the electricity can be entered into the system.

In an unrelated matter, commissioners:
-MET with Susan Schupp and Toni King of Royalty Dog Rescue LLC of Dover and Carroll County Dog Warden Ken Ohler over the issue of a dog adoption last week.

Schupp and King believe an Old English Bulldog was adopted out of the pond to a resident unfairly. They claimed the man had been in the parking lot at the dog pound first, but their rescue group was the first to enter the building, and therefore should have been allowed to adopt the dog. Schupp read a letter questioning the adoption policies of the dog pound and asked commissioners to consider instituting some type of spay and neuter policy for dogs adopted from the pound. They claimed to have heard the man who adopted the dog say, “he would breed her until he couldn’t breed her anymore.”

Kenny Ohler said he didn’t hear the comment made and only enforced policies made by the commissioners and laws under the Ohio Revised Code.

Wirkner said he received numerous phone calls Friday about the situation that included threats.

“In my opinion this boils down to three issues,” he said. “Number one is the first-come, first-served policy; Number two is the spay and neuter issue and number three is your concerns about training for the dog warden.  I would be happy to discuss your ideas and options, but not when threats are made. If you can be civilized and allow everyone’s opinion to be recognized, I am willing to sit down and talk.”

Wirkner suggested the group gather information and ideas and present them to commissioners during a regularly scheduled meeting.

-GRANTED a request from Sue Henderson, director of the Carroll County Senior Center to place a .5 mill replacement levy on the November ballot.

-APPOINTED Jon Rinkes to the Ohio Mid Eastern Governments Association Revoling Loan Fund for a term ending Aug. 31, 2016.

-SIGNED a contract and notice to proceed with Barbicas Construction of Akron for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 12 paving projects. Work was to begin May 9 and be completed by July 9. Total cost of the project is $205,535.20.

-REJECTED bids received for the county engineer’s box culvert replacement project because all bids exceeded the engineer’s estimate by more than 10 percent.

-APPROPRIATED $12,500 in non-certified funds to pay the Reverse 911 annual fee.

-AGREED to accept bids for the Atwood Lake Bridge replacement project on Avalon Rd. until 9:30 a.m. June 6.

-SET a public hearing for May 30 at 10 a.m. on a proposed fee schedule for commercial hauling permits and uses of county highways and right of ways.

-AGREED to sign a contingency lease on land at the Carroll County Industrial Park on SR 332. Commissioner Ohler said Chesapeake Energy approached commissioners because they believe they may own the mineral rights under the roadways in the park. Ohler said the land in question amounts to about three acres.

-APPROVED the Prevention Retention and Contingency Plan as presented by Kate Offenberger, director of the Department of Job and Family Services. She noted a new Subsidized Employment Program was added that will pay half the wages and employer-paid benefits of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) eligible people for up to six months.  The person must be a new-hire and wages must be $8,75 per hour or more.

-SET a public hearing June 6 at 10:30 a.m. to approve Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 13 projects, including $31,000 for a rehab project at the Carroll Golden Age Retreat, $20,000 for turnout gear for the Carrollton Village Fire Department and $13,000 to pave Edward St. in Loudon Twp. $15,200 of the $80,000 allocation will go toward administration costs and $800 for fair housing services.

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