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Leaders discuss development at Steubenville’s South end

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio – Economic development in the south end of Steubenville was the topic that turned ears at Tuesday’s morning’s Comprehensive Plan Meeting.
City leaders got together for the plan’s third meeting and received an update from the five current sub-committees.
As one person pointed out, they'll all have to work in sync, specifically noting that if areas aren't cleaned up, companies won’t want to move in and invest.
The corner of South Street and South 4th Street in downtown is a vast lot with big opportunity, according to members of the implementation committee
Evan Scurti, with the Economic Development sub-committee, focused on such spaces for light industry that could provide value-added jobs.
“Manufacturing is what I'm focusing on,” Scurti said. “Whether it’s in the construction industry, advanced manufaction, everything from food manufacturing -- basically facilities in the 10-to-30,000 square-foot range."
And he agreed the Beautification Committee will play a vital role, given surveys show image does matter.
"Of course the sites and infrastructure and labor viability are key considerations, but if an image is not where the client wants it to be, that can often lead to losing an investment,” Scurti said. “So we'll continue to make leaders aware of those trends."
Former City Law Director John J. Mascio agreed, and he offered his 2 cents on areas he says are in need of improvement.
"I don't like the weeds growing out of the wall along Washington Street underpass, or coming up from the base of the wall,” Mascio said. “That should be controlled. A lot of the streets that have been recently paved, the cracks should be sealed to extend the life of the street, and I think the manager did mention that will extend the life of the street."
Despite the work that needs to be done, Mascio says he is happy to see the city headed in this direction, noting that years ago when he was law director, he recommended an industrial zone in the south end of the city. While nothing came of it then, the potential appears to be around the corner.
Within the Economic Development Committee, there are some different opinions on how to best use that space in the south end of town.
They'll kick around the idea of a hotel/conference center vs. industrial use at their August committee meeting.
Meanwhile, the Implementation Committee will meet again as a whole on Aug. 12.

Leaders discuss development at Steubenville’s South end

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