LORDSTOWN VILLAGE, Ohio (WKBN) — Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill first announced to 27 First News a plan to bring a Navy ship maintenance plant to the village on Thursday. He said he was 90% sure it would happen.
Hill explained how, two years ago, Captain Ed Bartlett of the Cleveland-based Bartlett Maritime Corporation called him and introduced him to what became known as the Lordstown-Lorain project.
“So I walked him around town, showed him the available sites. It was right after GM shut down,” Hill said.
Hill said that during his two-year relationship with Ed Bartlett, he would go months without ever hearing from her. Then Bartlett would call and a few more months would pass. Hill said it was three or four months ago that he finally realized the Lordstown-Lorain project was viable.
Barlett’s plan is to help maintain the Navy’s submarine fleet, by building a new maintenance plant in Lordstown, creating 500 to 1,000 jobs. In Lorain, two dry docks would support the submarines, creating 2,000 to 3,000 additional jobs. Bartlett was impressed with Lordstown.
“He said it would be perfect. You have rail, you have road, you have land available,” Hill said.
At a meeting in Washington on Thursday, Bartlett received a commitment from the AFL-CIO to be part of the draft.
“The mayor of Lorain spoke, and then I spoke in favor of the project,” Hill said.
Hill said he takes two to three calls a week from businesses wanting to locate in Lordstown. About a mile from his office is an excellent example of the Lordstown development, where the exterior of the Ultium Cells factory took shape.
Hill said he still has 300 to 500 acres available for development.
“We have water, gas, electricity, we have sewers everywhere. We have tax incentive programs in there. I mean we have it all,” Hill said.
Hill is confident that Ed Bartlett will also get the Lordstown-Lorain project.
“They have groundbreaking work already planned for October. Now you know that tells me he’s somewhat positive,” Hill said.