FAIRFIELD TWP. - State Rep. Nick Barborak (D-Lisbon) said he is "ecstatic over the roadwork improvements" money for the Buckeye Transfer Realty LLC facility after the Controlling Board announced it was releasing $125,000 in state funding on Monday.
Barborak stated he was also "thrilled to hear the number of jobs that will be created and retained as a result of this project," noting that "over 200 jobs will be either created or retained, which is pretty substantial and very necessary to maintaining a prosperous local economy."
Located at the former National Refractories, Buckeye Transfer Realty operates on a 95-acre tract that has quick rail access and state Route 11 runs adjacent to it.
Anticipating the increased heavy traffic through the facility, trustees have worked to find money to improve access off state Route 344, Cherry Fork Road and Esterly Drive.
The money will be used for road improvements in support of Buckeye Transfer's hub that services the oil and gas industry associated with the shale boom.
Township Trustee Barry Miner, who did much of the work facilitating the state money, presented finalized plans that were drawn up by the Columbiana County engineer's office for 1.5 miles of road improvements during the trustee's Sept. 4 meeting.
The facility distributes trainloads of fracking sand to trucks for transport to oil and gas well drilling sites and plans call for building a transloading station to transfer oil and condensate from trucks to railroad cars.
Company officials also expect to build a pipe storage compound and eventually a frack-water recycling facility.
In July, the township learned it will receive $250,000 for road upgrades to the facility from Jobs Ohio and Ohio Jobs and Commerce.
Trustees will open bids for the state Route 344/Esterly Drive/Cherry Fork improvements at their next meeting (Sept. 19) and could award the project at its Oct. 3 meeting.
Barborak said the project will create 55 full-time jobs with average hourly wages of $17.65, and 155 existing full-time jobs will be retained.
"The residents of Columbiana County are sure to reap the benefits of this project in one way or another."
This project will upgrade an existing intersection, which Barborak said is on a skew that crosses SR 344 and is currently not safe for the increased traffic that will be on this road network.
With the intersection upgrade, the township will be able to close the nearby at-grade rail crossing, Barborak said, adding it will allow Buckeye Transfer to receive unit trains, while improving the overall safety at this location for motorists.