PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Commissioners have voted to join the Port of Cincinnati in a regional economic development group. Currently half of Scioto County is under the Huntington District of the Corps of Engineers, and the other half is not involved in a district.
“The Cincinnati Port Authority wanted to extend the Cincinnati district to the center of Portsmouth to fill that gap,” Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Mike Crabtree said. “They said it is beneficial to know what cargo is going up and down the river, where it’s ending, and who is affected by that cargo. It’s a benefit to the local port authorities to know how much money is going up and down the river, so that is going to fill the gap. So we will have access to those studies. Right now they don’t have any studies on what traffic there is in that area.”
Crabtree said it is a benefit to the county to know how many millions of dollars are moving up and down the waterways in our region. He said the move will not change Scioto County’s jurisdiction, because Scioto County is currently just on the edge of the Huntington district.
The Daily Times informed Melissa Johnson, Director of Transportation and Logistics for the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority, of the vote.
“I sent them a request to consider the resolution. I had not received any feedback at to whether or not they were passing it or if it was being added to an agenda,” Johnson said. “That’s exciting. They are our second county to do that, so that is really great. It’s a good thing.”
According to the resolution, the Scioto County Board of Commissioners supports the Port Authority expansion beyond the current recognized limits of the Ohio River mile 465 and river mile 491 to include a portion of the riverfront of Scioto County from river mile 356.8 to river mile 374.6 on the Ohio River.
“It’s actually a statistical boundary movement,” Johnson said. “I liken it to a census track for the river. It basically extends the port district to capture all of the statistics for the tonnage of cargo that’s moving through the Ohio River between Scioto County and Carroll County, Kentucky. And we feel that represents really the industry in the waterways movement for our tri-state. We just want to make sure that is reflected with the Army Corps of Engineers, and we can use all the statistics and great information to market our individual counties or the region as a place to do business or attract commerce.”
The Cincinnati district currently delivers 12 million tons of cargo, ranking 49th in the country. They are also looking to expand from their current 26 miles of coverage to 205 miles.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.