In an effort to expand sewer capacity in Pike County for both residential and industrial users, the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) announced Thursday the award of a $150,000 grant to the Pike County Commissioners toward a $2.7 million planned project to extend sewer services in the Shyville and Schuster Road areas southeast of Piketon.
The “North Gate Sewer Extension Project” will promote job creation and job retention in Pike County by making available sanitary sewer services to further economic development opportunities. The proposed project will provide sanitary sewer to Shyville Road between the U.S. Department of Energy property and Ohio 32 and along Schuster Road from Shyville Road up to Ohio 32.
“Many firms evaluating an area for potential expansion look at three major infrastructure needs: transportation access, water supply and sewer service,” SODI Executive Director Steve Shepherd wrote in a press release.
“The lack of sewer service has been holding back our ability to further economic development for the region,” Shepherd added. “With the ability to expand the sanitary sewer capacity, we are in a better position to market the area for new companies.”
The SODI grant is the first initial funds earmarked for the county’s North Gate Sewer Extension Project. The $150,000 grant will be used toward the engineering portion of the project. Although the project is still in the planning phase, the SODI grant will be supplemented by additional funds being sought by Pike County through other state and federal agencies to support the total project costs, Shepherd said.
“We will put the SODI grant on the planning and engineering for the project,” said Harry Rider, Pike County Commission president. “Once the project is completed, we will have Schuster Road, Church Road, and the new office complex along Shyville Road serviced. There is room for additional industry in this vicinity.”
The $150,000 grant was made possible through funds SODI has received from the sale of recyclable metals reclaimed from the early tear-down of facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy’s former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon. It comes on the heels of another $150,000 grant recently awarded by SODI to the Southern Ohio Port Authority in Scioto County. That grant covered expenses for utility line relocations so site excavation could proceed for constructing a new Infra-Metals steel processing facility that is expected to bring 100 jobs to southern Ohio in 2012.